BASF, Bosch form spray tech partnership

Bosch BASF Smart Farming is a new company with its headquarters in Cologne, Germany. It will start selling its Smart Spraying technology in Brazil later this year. Smart Spraying can identify and spray individual weeds in crop, day or night.  |  Bosch BASF Smart Farming photo

Bosch and BASF received approval by merger control authorities to set up a new joint company called Bosch BASF Smart Farming, or BBSF.

The new company will distribute technologies the founding companies have collaborated on for years, including the Smart Spraying solution that offers real-time, automated green-on-brown (pre-emergence) and green-on-green (post-emergence) weed identification and targeting.

Silvia Cifre Wibrow, joint managing director of BBSF, said the company will help transition the spraying market to a smart spraying market.

“This market we think will have a relatively quick transformation, where we estimate that by 2030 half of the sprayers will be smart sprayers,” Cifre Wibrow said during an media event held virtually on Jan. 29.

BBSF will begin with 10 staff, however product development remains within Bosch and BASF and the new company will also be able to get support from staff from the founding companies including with sales.

Smart Spraying combines Bosch’s camera sensor technology and software with BASF’s Xarvio platform that offers automated and real-time weed identification.

Florian Gwosdz, a joint managing director of BBSF, said smart spraying will be one of the first products offered by the new company.

“The smart spraying technology will be introduced in the market for the first time by the end of this year in Brazil. Currently, we are working together with several manufacturers, OEMs, and of course there are OEMs that would be interested in introducing this technology in the (United States) but we’re currently running proof of concepts and field trials. So there’s no clear date yet when the technology will be available in the U.S.,” Gwosdz said during the media event.

The Smart Spraying solution provides real time, automated pre-emergence, green-on-brown, weed identification and management. | BASF/Bosch photo

Cifre Wibrow said working with OEMs will be a big part of the company’s business, where BBSF will supply hardware, as well as the service of targeting weeds made possible by the company’s machine-learning-based algorithms.

Smart Spraying does not require broadband connectivity, instead decisions are made on the sprayer by on-board central processing units.

Sprayers can be set up using the Smart Sprayer with two herbicide streams, which enable producers to apply a blanket application and then specifically target problem weeds in crop with a second herbicide.

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