Bayer teams up with Microsoft on new cloud-based data management

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Following a 2021 partnership announcement with Microsoft, Bayer has now launched new cloud-based products for the agri-food industry.

AgPowered Services from Bayer, in combination with the new Microsoft Azure Data Manager for Agriculture, will provide ready-to-use capabilities available for businesses and organizations, the company says.

Companies that develop on-farm technologies can use the cloud infrastructure and core capabilities from Microsoft and licensed additional capabilities from Bayer to build digital tools that “support favourable agronomic outcomes for growers.”

Similarly, Bayer says that consumer goods companies can use the cloud offerings to build “solutions that provide insight into nutrients, sustainability, and production practices to build trust with consumers, stakeholders and investors.”

Robert Reiter, head of R&D for Bayer’s Crop Science Division, says only innovation can ensure global food security while protecting the planet, which is where this latest announcement fits in.

“Modern agriculture and food production generate a tremendous amount of valuable data that can drive productivity and sustainability,” he says. “However, this data is often disconnected, not useable throughout the value chain, and the costs to build digital solutions from scratch are high. Our new cloud-based solutions help overcome these challenges. Customers can use the infrastructure and capabilities to build their own digital solutions and products on top of the most robust collection of ag data in the world.”

In addition to using the platform to develop their tech, Bayer is offering initial AgPowered Services as add-ons to Azure Data Manager infrastructure and core capabilities, including:

  • Bayer Imagery Insights – Track crop health over time and identify areas in fields that need attention through a series of satellite images and supporting data within individually selected geographic areas;
  • Bayer Growing Degree Day Calculation – Provide a calculation for Growing Degree Days, an input for models that focus on identifying key timing of variables affecting crop growth, health, and output, as well as the emergence and development of important crop insect pests and diseases; and
  • Bayer Crop Water Use Maps – Gain access to map layers and supporting data that help define the amount of water a crop is using or losing during a 24-hour period. Users will be able to understand crop evaporation and transpiration levels and potential crop loss areas due to lack of water, which is a key driver for irrigation planning.

The partnership between Microsoft and Bayer is a step towards Bayer’s target of 100-per cent digitally-enabled sales in its Crop Science division by 2030.

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