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How one company invests in ag research for the future

Slideshow: Bayer put its latest applied research on display at the Farm Progress Show.

Tom J Bechman 1

November 10, 2021

18 Slides
entrance to Bayer's "From Here We Grow” exhibit at 2021 Farm Progress Show

Can you imagine what the crops you grow in the future will look like, and how you will grow them? Will corn be shorter, taller, thicker? Will soybeans be the same as they are today?

Bayer scientists and plant breeders believe they are working on the future of crop production every single day. Whether it’s in their Marana climate-controlled greenhouse, with more than 7 acres of glass, or in laboratories where they’re developing new chemistries for controlling weeds, diseases and other pests, they’re committed to moving toward the future.

Once each year, provided a pandemic doesn’t interfere, Bayer gives you, the customer, a glimpse of what that future might look like in its exhibit at the Farm Progress Show. This year’s theme was “From Here We Grow.” If you attended the show and took the journey through the various displays and plots, you got a glimpse of what tomorrow might look like.

Innovations included everything from developing corn hybrids with better resistance to physoderma brown spot to using drones and artificial intelligence to better analyze data on plots where they’re designing the corn plants of tomorrow.

One trend was obvious. Bayer believes short-stature corn has a bright future for multiple reasons. The company introduced the corn commercially in parts of Mexico in 2020. It could be available commercially in the U.S. by mid-decade.

How soon will other innovations arrive? It’s difficult to guess. But here’s a hint. Two years ago, at the 2019 Farm Progress Show, one of the new technologies in Bayer’s display was a scientist using artificial intelligence technology to identify weeds and diseases in the field. It wasn’t yet ready for prime time.

Two years later, various companies are developing this technology and producing solutions that can identify a pest problem via drone scouting, from the air. The future will be here sooner than you think!

About the Author(s)

Tom J Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer

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Aug 29 - Aug 31, 2023
Farm Progress Show annually hosts more than 600 exhibitors displaying new farm equipment, tractors, combines and farm implements; seed and crop protection products; and many additional farm supplies and services.