Innovation and advancements in technology play a major role in our everyday life. Where would we be without our smart phones? The same can be said about the agriculture industry. Science innovations and advancements in digital tools are helping farmers work more sustainably and become better stewards of the earth’s natural resources.
At Bayer, advancements in digital tools are helping to collect data in real-time to address challenges, such as food production, labor shortage, water stresses, pest control and plant diseases. Also known as precision agriculture, these tools provide more timely and accurate information about what is happening in our fields, allowing us to be more precise in the amounts of water and other resources needed to grow food.
“Water is essential to agriculture and it is more imperative than ever that we find new ways to farm more efficiently and conserve this natural resource,” said Dan Clegg, Hawaii business operations lead at Bayer. “We are committed to implementing modern agriculture practices across all of our farms in Hawaii and I am proud of our teams for utilizing these new technologies that allow us to operate in a more sustainable manner.”
In 2014, Bayer established a goal to increase irrigation water application efficiency by 25 percent by 2020. Having implemented advanced irrigation management techniques across its Hawaii farms on Oahu, Maui and Molokai, the company is proud to announce that it has surpassed its goal and continues to improve its farming and conservation practices through technological advancements including:
Soil Moisture Probes, also known as soil moisture sensors, extend about three feet underground. They provide data every 15 minutes on root depth and water absorption activity to adjust irrigation recommendations as needed.
Weather Sensing Networks provide unique, real-time data that is captured through weather stations that are strategically positioned throughout Bayer’s farms. The data allows Bayer to calculate irrigation needs to build better irrigation systems and management practices that optimize water application (like applying water only when needed) and better crop health monitoring throughout the growing season.
Satellite imagery is collected using an advanced difference vegetation index (ADVI) filter, which has been developed specifically for Bayer’s primary corn crop. This imagery is designed to provide valuable information on irrigation stress and plant health, and assist in management evaluations.
Water Automation Software technology allows Bayer to improve accuracy in the amount of water needed, by timing irrigation remotely via a smart phone app. This tool has helped to save millions of gallons of water annually across Bayer’s Hawaii operations.
Digital tools help farmers become better informed and make better decisions. At Bayer, we rely heavily on science innovations and advancements in digital tools to help identify new solutions to address challenges and work more efficiently. To learn more about Bayer’s Hawaii farms’ use of technology, please click here: Bayer Crop Science Hawaii