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Bosch, BASF partner to establish JV for digital technologies in the agricultural sector

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

The JV agreement was signed on 10 November 2020 and will be followed by founding a new company based in Cologne, to be established in Q1 2021.

Bosch brings to the JV significant capability in hardware and software and digital services for planning and decision making in field crops. BASF Digital Farming with its xarvio Digital Farming Solutions provides an automated, real-time, field-specific agronomic decision-making engine for weed management powered by the digital xarvio platform 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 hardware and software solutions will make it easier and more convenient for farmers to take advantage of digital solutions.

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, 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 seed and fertiliser intelligence and smart spraying. Smart spraying combines the technology of Bosch’s camera sensor and software with the xarvio crop optimisation platform. Both products have been extensively tested under real growing conditions. Such innovative precision farming practices allow for resource efficiency in support of farmers and the environment.

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