Global Agriculture

Bosch and BASF collaborate for smart seeding and fertilizing solutions

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23 July 2020, Germany: Bosch and xarvio™ Digital Farming Solutions from BASF are intensifying their successful collaboration in the development of digital farming solutions. For this purpose, the companies have founded a project house in Curitiba, Brazil. It enables the two partners to combine their joint research and development activities at the same location.

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The goal of the collaboration is to develop an intelligent system for demand-based application of fertilizer and intelligent seed placement of seeds. “With our innovative solution, farmers can consider the local conditions such as field topography, soil quality, and precipitation in their work in the future.

This minimizes costs, increases yield and protects the environment,” explains Andrew Allen, who is responsible for the Commercial Vehicles and Off-Road business unit at Robert Bosch GmbH.

Digital solutions for optimal crop production

The basis of the joint development provided by Bosch is the IPS – Intelligent Planting Solution (IPS) system for automatic seeding control, which was presented in 2018. The foundation of the intensified collaboration for xarvio™ is the FIELD MANAGER, available since 2019, with field zone-specific nutrient management and variable application maps for seeds.

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xarvio™ FIELD MANAGER is a digital solution that assists farmers to improve and automate their crop production in a sustainable way.

Farmers can view the status of their fields and get notifications and recommendations for the individual field zones. “In daily practical use, the xarvio™ FIELD MANAGER determines exactly which and how much seed and fertilizer will provide the optimal yield while preserving the environment,” explains Carvin Scheel, Product Engineer at BASF Digital Farming. For this purpose, xarvio™ brings its profound digital agronomic expertise to the project.

Smart soil sensor enables direct fertilizer dosage

For the IPS system Bosch will develop the necessary components and interfaces and handle the integration of the entire system for use in planting or seeder machines.

The currently available system supports farmers working in the field with four functions: Based on the information collected by the respective sensors and digital maps for variable application; the system controls the optimal seed amount; through distance control of each plants for each row. If the fertility of the soil fluctuates across the field, IPS automatically regulates the amount of seeds without the farmer having to intervene.

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The IPS system also ensures an optimal distribution of seeds on curving topography by adjusting the amount of seeds for the inner and outer furrows in a targeted manner. Double sowing is avoided since the system reliably recognizes previously planted furrows and deactivates line-by-line application when passing over them again.

The components of the IPS system – the control unit, the seed/fertilizer actuators, the sensors, and the power box – are all based on proven components from the automotive area. The control unit, which has been adapted specifically for IPS requirements, regulates the amount of inputs applied by the dosing units based on data from speed and seed sensors and from the satellite navigation system. Market launch for the combined seed and fertilizer dosing system is planned within the upcoming weeks.

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