At Bosch Connected World, I spoke with Toby Meene of Bayer about weed-killing technology the agriculture giant was developing with Bosch. The technology would compete with the Blue River tech that John Deere acquired last year. However, the Bayer/Bosch weed killer is designed to fit on existing equipment, and covers a field at the current European standard of 12 kilometers an hour.
The machine attaches to the existing sprayer arm and uses a camera with weed and crop detection technology. It also contains a delivery system for three different types of herbicide that can be mixed with water as it’s applied. The system is less granular than the Blue River machine that handles weeds on an almost individual basis. If you work near crops and are regularly handling weed killer, such as the round-up weed killer then it it could have an affect on your health. This is because it has been linked with causing different types of roundup cancers so make sure that you take all the relevant safety precautions to keep you safe. Don’t hesitate in contacting your doctor if you have any worries or concerns.
What struck me about the creation of two products aimed at solving the same problem is that one is offered by a traditional agricultural equipment vendor, while the other is offered by a supplier of seeds and herbicides. Yet both are looking to provide what is essentially improved crop production as a service. Which means that what was once a longer supply chain will flatten, and former partners or neutral vendors in the same supply chain may end up as competitors. Business is going to get tough.