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Bayer Cropscience and farmers growing smarter together

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article image Bayer CropScience “Growing Smarter Together” program

From Western Australia to Victoria, Bayer CropScience demonstration sites have been providing growers and agronomists across the country with new insights into growing healthier crops more efficiently, responsibly and profitably through the recently launched Bayer CropScience “Growing Smarter Together” program.  

Since the program’s inception in May this year, the demonstration sites have proved very popular amongst local producers and agronomists looking to learn about Bayer’s latest innovations in crop protection, trial results and solutions.  

As part of the program, growers participate in a demonstration of Bayer CropScience products including Velocity, Precept, Hussar OD, Atlantis OD, Hombre, Zorro and Prosaro, as well as developing knowledge about the crop safety aspects and compatibilities of herbicide mixtures on a range of crops.  

Located in Bordertown, South Australia, Horsham and Dookie in Victoria, as well as collaboration centres in Dalwallinu and Mingenew in Western Australia, the Growing Smarter Together sites enable growers and advisors to easily compare and visualise results and solutions by combining various crop protection products and crop types on the one site.  

Paul Elton, an agronomist from IK Caldwell attended the Dookie site and said that these types of demonstrations are invaluable.  

“It was great to see the comparison between Bayer’s products compared with competitors’ products. Hombre and Zorro in particular looked really good compared to other products on the market, and the new pre-emergent herbicide under research – Sakura – is looking very impressive. Sakura will provide farmers with new chemistry to enable us to work around our issues with ryegrass resistance – and the way we are able to apply it is quite flexible.  

“I thought that the site was well set up and well run. It was great to have the Bayer technical advisory team on hand to discuss the products and answer any questions. I would definitely recommend that my peers take the time to attend these demonstration sites. If you don’t take up these opportunities, then you don’t learn and you can miss out on the benefits of these new products and innovations. Plus the demonstration gives growers the knowledge and confidence they need to take the next step and use these products in their pest and weed management plans,” said Paul.  

Matt Coffey from Elders also attended the Dookie site and thought it was a great opportunity for local agronomists to see the products at work in their local soil and environmental conditions.  

“Being able to see where new products are likely to have a fit and seeing what the products can do before they actually hit the market gives us confidence to recommend the right products to local growers,” said Matt.  

David Stead, a consultant agronomist at Farmanco in Western Australia, was equally as impressed.  

“First and foremost, what must be said is the great way in which Bayer is going about disseminating this information to agronomists and growers. I think the biggest thing is agronomists having the opportunity to provide our input and the camaraderie that comes from being involved at the outset, from finding appropriate trial sites, to seeing what each product looks like at time of spraying and then six weeks later. The presentation of the information, followed by product launches – particularly for Precept and Velocity – has certainly been well received. 

“I am particularly excited by Sakura. It is definitely going to have a big impact – I believe it is the single most exciting molecule we’ve seen in the last 20 years,” said David.  

D&M Rural (CRT) agronomist, Glen Mead, attended the site at Bordertown.  

“The biggest issue this year in our area is dollars. People are leaning towards using cheaper mixes which may not be as effective or the ideal fit.  Growers are sometimes hesitant to lean towards using new chemistry as they feel that they attract a premium over standard mixes and will not provide any better control options than standard mixes. These trial sites show how specific products fit and allow confidence in using these new products. As an agronomist, I like to be assured of new products before I can suggest them as a good fit for my clients in their broadacre farming systems," said Glen.  

“Having the opportunity to see different insecticides and seed treatments was also very valuable. It is something we haven’t put a lot of focus on in the past, however, we have large numbers of aphids in our area at the moment and we have taken a number of clients back to these sites which has provided an ideal platform to see these products at work first-hand,” said Glen.  

Bayer Technical Advisory Manager, Greg Skinner, was delighted with the inaugural Growing Smarter Together demonstration project and said that the sites were the perfect opportunity to provide farmers with access to Bayer CropScience’s latest product innovations, trial results and crop protection solutions. A team of expert Bayer CropScience technical advisors were also on hand to discuss tailored solutions for farmers.  

The recently formed Technical Advisory team was created to add value to all stakeholders including growers, distributors, agronomists and consultants, to ensure that the products developed and commercialised by Bayer CropScience are well understood in the marketplace.  

The Technical Advisory team provides product training, transfer of knowledge and ensures new products deliver solutions to the marketplace. The team also supports the Territory Sales Managers to ensure they are well-equipped with sound product knowledge to better service Bayer’s customers on a local level.  

“The Growing Smarter Together sites enable us to demonstrate our strong commitment to innovation and provide us with an opportunity to work together with growers and advisors to develop smarter solutions,” said Greg.  

“They allow us to have a greater understanding and appreciation of how the various products perform in the field, providing an ideal platform to educate growers on how to best use our products with confidence,” said Greg.  

To support and supplement the larger-scale Growing Smarter Together sites, Bayer is also conducting smaller trials in local growers’ paddocks in broadacre farming areas.  

“These Growing Smarter Together sites and demonstrations allow users of our newest products to, not only learn from the experts first-hand as they are literally released to the market, but to meet and speak to the Bayer CropScience team about how these crop protection offerings can be utilised within existing practices,” said Greg.  

“Accordingly, it’s a chance for our team to help local growers work towards their production targets and farming objectives, both now and into the future,” Greg concluded.  

An application for registration of Sakura has been made. At the time of publication, Sakura is not registered.

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