Smart farming cooperation clears antitrust hurdles

Smart farming cooperation clears antitrust hurdles

Bosch and BASF develop Smart Spraying solution to automatically detect and control weeds.

Smart-Spraying-Maschine im Einsatz auf einem Acker.
The Smart Spraying solution enables automated detection of weeds after seed emergence.

Smart farming solutions from a single source - that's what Bosch and BASF want to offer in the future with their joint venture Bosch BASF Smart Farming GmbH (BBSF), in which they have equal shares. The antitrust authorities worldwide have now given their approval for this. The company is headquartered in Cologne. The first markets for the Smart Spraying will be North America, South America and Europe, as the partners announced at the end of June 2021.

70% less herbicide needed

The Smart Spraying solution combines advanced camera sensor technology and image recognition software with agronomic decision-making software. According to Bosch, the system can distinguish between weeds and crops in milliseconds and decide whether a crop protection product should be applied to a given area. The amount of herbicide applied to a field is said to be reduced by up to 70% compared to conventional methods. The system is designed to work both before and after seed emergence, and around the clock.

Successful field tests in different climates

"With the antitrust approval we have reached another important milestone, Florian Gwosdz, Managing Director of BBSF, is pleased to announce. " Furthermore, we have successfully tested our products with our manufacturers under different climatic conditions." He said the Smart Spraying solution consistently delivered positive test results, showing that this combination of hardware, software and agronomic logic works.

Ecological and economic advantages

Silvia Cifre Wibrow, Managing Director of BBSF, emphasized the ecological advantages when presenting the joint venture: "The ability of the Smart Spraying solution to detect weeds and decide whether to apply herbicides and spray them if necessary is unique. As a result, weeds are controlled only where they can harm crops." That's good for the environment and offers financial benefits to farmers, he said.

BBSF intends to launch limited quantities of the Smart Spraying solution later this year.