BASF Digital Farming and Bosch have signed a 50:50 joint venture agreement to globally market and sell smart farming solutions from a single source, BASF announced on November 12.

The agreement was signed on November 10 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 joint venture significant capability in hardware and software, as well as digital services for planning and decision making in field crops. With its xarvio™ Digital Farming Solutions, BASF Digital Farming provides an automated, real-time, field specific and agronomic decision-making engine for weed management that is powered by the digital xarvio platform for crop optimisation. 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, BASF said.

"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, who is responsible for commercial vehicles and off-road business at Robert Bosch GmbH.

"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.

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 fertiliser prescriptions, and Smart Spraying. The Smart Spraying solution combines Bosch's camera sensor technology and software with xarvio's crop optimisation 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 products 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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