German life science enterprise Bayer, Israeli irrigation solutions company Netafim and BGN Technologies, the technology company of Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), announced the signing this week of a three-year research collaboration focusing on the integration of digital tools for the optimization of drip irrigation as a delivery system.
The joint cooperation will combine soil research, digital prediction tools and state-of-the-art drip technology by Netafim and includes the creation of comprehensive data sets that will be “generated experimentally to calibrate digital prediction models for optimized application of crop protection compounds via drip irrigation,” the three companies said in a joint statement.
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The project aims to further develop Bayer and Netafim’s DripByDrip, a solution that uses Netafim’s drip irrigation systems to deliver Bayer’s chemical and biological crop protection products and that applies the active substances precisely to the plant, according to the statement.
Research activities will be conducted in Israel at the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research of BGU and Netafim facilities.
“This collaboration agreement with industry leaders such as Bayer and Netafim is a testimony to the leading position of the Institute for Desert Research of BGU in the field of agriculture,” said Netta Cohen, CEO of BGN Technologies. “Located in the desert, the research at the University’s Sde Boker campus focuses on water, energy, agricultural and ecological solutions for extreme desert and drylands conditions, which are increasingly becoming more relevant with environmental changes such as global warming.”
Holger Weckwert, Portfolio Management Segment Manager Insecticides Solutions at the Bayer Crop Science Division, said in the statement: “Applying crop protection compounds using drip irrigation allows to accurately target the relevant plants, which is environmentally friendly, efficient and cost-effective thereby providing an important contribution to sustainable agriculture. We are looking forward to join efforts with leading scientists at BGU to elaborate customized use recommendations for the application of our nematicide Velum with Netafim’s drip technology.”
Dubi Raz, corporate agronomy director at Netafim, added: “Drip irrigation delivers water, fertilizers, crop protection including biologicals directly to the roots of the crops. This approach enables farmers to apply crop protection products in a more targeted way using Netafim’s drip irrigation technology. After three years of extensive experiments in various geographical conditions and crops, we succeeded in achieving clear economic proof-of-concept for our customers. Following our successful long term partnership with Bayer, we are pleased to now welcome BGU’s scientists in assisting us in optimizing the application of crop protection compounds via drip irrigation.”