Bosch and BASF establish joint digital technology venture

Companies say farmers will benefit from automated, agronomic digital solutions.

Bosch and BASF Digital Farming have signed a 50:50 joint venture (JV) agreement to globally market and sell smart farming solutions from a single source in the future. 

The firms signed the JV agreement on November 10, 2020, and will be followed by the founding of a new company based in Cologne, Germany, which will be established in the first quarter of 2021. The foundation is subject to the approval of the relevant antitrust authorities. Both parties have agreed not to disclose financial details.

Bosch brings to the JV significant capability in hardware and software, as well as digital services, say company officials. BASF Digital Farming with its xarvio Digital Farming Solutions provides an automated, real-time, field-specific agronomic decision-making engine for weed management that is powered by the digital xarvio platform for crop optimization. It provides farmers with field zone-specific advice on how to produce crops in the most sustainable way.

Combining the expertise of both companies, with state-of-the-art hardware and software solutions, will make it easier and more convenient for farmers to benefit from digital solutions, say company officials. 

Spraying and Saving    

“Thanks to connecting agricultural machinery using high-tech sensors, intelligent software, and digital products, we can make tomorrow’s agriculture more efficient and at the same time more environmentally friendly,” said Andrew Allen, head of commercial vehicles and off-road business at Robert Bosch GmbH, in a news release.

“Both companies are committed to investing time, resources, and funding in joint activities that will lead to the development of new sustainable, precision technologies that improve agricultural practices and outcomes,” said Vincent Gros, president of BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division, in a news release. 

The first two products to be launched will be a version of the Intelligent Planting Solution (IPS) system, with enhanced digital intelligence for seeding and fertilizer prescriptions and Smart Spraying. The Smart Spraying solution combines Bosch’s camera sensor technology and software with xarvio’ s crop optimization platform. Both products have been tested extensively in real growing conditions. Such innovative precision farming practices enable resource efficiencies supporting farmers and the environment.

Depending on the local conditions, this may lead to a reduced need for crop protection in specific applications. Smart Spraying shows up to 70% herbicide volumes reduction in experimental stage. The solution is expected to be launched with a limited number of machines in 2021.

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