The Climate Corp., a subsidiary of Monsanto Co., recently announced 17 advancements accelerating through its research and development (R&D) pipeline, including global expansion of its research footprint to deliver science-driven, digital agriculture innovations to more farmers around the world.
“Our innovation pipeline spans many areas of research and combines machine learning, data analytics and predictive modeling with the industry’s most robust seed genetic library and farm-scale research to identify the many variables that impact crop production,” Climate Corp. chief science officer Sam Eathington said. “We are using cutting-edge science to invent unique digital tools that improve on-farm productivity and create value for farmers. With recent launches of our industry-leading Climate FieldView platform in Brazil, Canada and Europe, we’re expanding our research efforts and accelerating the speed of innovation to provide farmers data-rich information to help them optimize inputs and maximize yield.”
In January 2017, Climate Corp. introduced its innovation pipeline and unveiled more than 35 projects. The company'ss pipeline is the first of its kind in the digital agriculture industry. In August 2017, the company advanced seven projects to new phases of the pipeline. Now, Climate Corp. is sharing the acceleration of an additional 10 R&D advancements, combining unique field data with state-of-the-art science and powerful analytics to support farmers in the crucial management decisions they make throughout the year.
Technology capabilities, R&D highlights
Climate Corp. said employing machine learning and predictive modeling techniques provides the ability to quickly deliver digital solutions to farmers that are customized to their individual operations. These capabilities are central to the advancements moving through the company’s innovation pipeline.
Disease diagnosis. Today, as much as 40% of global crop production is lost to disease, pest and weeds. Advanced disease insights can help farmers protect their crops from plant diseases that can devastate entire fields. Through its disease diagnosis research, the company is using artificial intelligence to diagnose diseases in corn, soybeans and wheat. The machine learning model continues to demonstrate strong performance in categorizing stresses on an individual plant and providing the correct disease diagnosis through a mobile or tablet device. Corn disease diagnosis in the U.S. is advancing from development to the pre-commercial phase.
Seed scripting and selection. With access to the industry’s most robust plant genetics library, Climate Corp. is uniquely positioned in digital agriculture to understand how plant genetics interact with their environment. Its seeds and planting research is tailored to specific genetics aimed to help farmers understand how to place the right seed in the best place for maximum performance and can help farmers sustainably enhance their productivity. The company is applying predictive modeling and machine learning to pool data from numerous sources -- like seed genetics, disease pressure, soil composition, water movement, historical performance and more -- to help farmers select the most ideal seed products for their fields. Advanced seed scripting research in Brazil is advancing from the concept to development phase; in Europe, it's advancing to the concept phase. Regionally based seed selection for soybeans in the U.S. is advancing from the concept to development phase.
Fertility scripting. Through advanced modeling, Climate Corp. embraces the complexity of soil fertility cycles, capturing key processes that impact nitrogen levels in the field to help farmers optimize the placement of key inputs. In August 2017, the company introduced manual fertility scripting for nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and lime as the next step in building the industry’s first comprehensive fertility solution in the Climate FieldView platform. It continues to invest in research efforts globally for the delivery of fertility prescriptions for additional crops, including soybeans, wheat and canola. P&K scripting research in Brazil, eastern Canada and western Canada is advancing from the concept to development phase.
“As Climate continues to expand its digital technologies to help more farmers access advanced agronomic insights, it adds new data layers to feed its R&D engine, ultimately enabling the development of valuable new features for farmers,” the company said.
First launched in the U.S. in 2015, the Climate FieldView platform is applied on more than 120 million acres with more than 100,000 users across the U.S., Canada and Brazil. In October 2017, the company announced the launch of the Climate FieldView platform in western Canada. Shortly after that, it announced the pre-commercial launch of the Climate FieldView platform into regions of Europe, including Germany, France and Ukraine. According to the company, the platform has quickly become the most broadly connected in the industry and continues to expand into new global regions, with plans to expand into Australia, Argentina and South Africa over the next few years.