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Germany: Next-Gen Technology BASF to Use Digitalisation for R&D of New Crop Protection Products

Editor: Ahlam Rais

BASF has partnered with Tecnalia and together they have developed a technology for automated image recognition. This technology is expected to offer a more precise evaluation of the efficiency of new crop protection products.

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The automated image recognition technology can, e.g. supported by drones, determine the species and quantity of plants, pests and diseases in greenhouse and field trials.
The automated image recognition technology can, e.g. supported by drones, determine the species and quantity of plants, pests and diseases in greenhouse and field trials.
(Source: BASF)

Limburgerhof/Germany – Protecting crops from diseases and pests is essential to sustainably improve yield on existing arable land to feed a growing population. BASF and Tecnalia, a European center for research and technological development, are collaborating in digitalisation to accelerate the global research and development of new crop protection products. This contributes to a faster development of innovations that respond to farmers’ needs worldwide to control weeds, fungal diseases and insect pests in their crops, protecting yield and biodiversity at the same time.

The two companies jointly developed a technology for automated image recognition to determine the species and quantity of plants, pests and diseases in greenhouse and field trials. “Our collaboration with Tecnalia, started in 2014, enables us to employ state-of-the-art algorithms based on artificial intelligence and machine learning,” said Ramon Navarra-Mestre, Head of Global Agricultural Research Stations at BASF. “This new, efficient technology provides us with more reliable information from our global field trials network as the image recognition assessments can be done more frequently and deliver more objective data compared to traditional methods.”

By analysing and processing these large amounts of data from BASF’s field trials, Tecnalia continuously develops its algorithms further. “The more information we incorporate into our database, the more reliable and meaningful are the results we can provide to BASF,” added Jone Echazarra, Head of Computer Vision at Tecnalia. These comprehensive data sets enable researchers and developers at BASF to optimally evaluate the efficiency of new crop protection products. Already at an early stage of the R&D process, this allows to even stronger focus on the most promising, innovative active ingredients.

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