Upstream Ag Professional - November 12th 2023
Essential news and analysis for agribusiness leaders
Welcome to the 17th Edition of Upstream Ag Professional!
A few things for next week’s edition:
Next week, I will be sharing the highlights, analysis, and summary of Q3 2023 Agribusiness Results, including topics such as Bayer’s comments on breaking up their business units, Syngenta’s IPO being further delayed until the end of 2024, and topics such as the lengthened destocking in the crop inputs space.
The aim is to have a new Upstream Ag Professional video summary out next week, too.
I mentioned that I would share the summary of Innovation Adoption in Ag this week; however, due to some bigger events occurring in the space this week I have opted to share that in the coming weeks instead.
Index for the week:
InnerPlant, John Deere, Syngenta to Develop Integrated Precision Platform to Fight Fungus in Soybeans
The Co-op Conundrum Continued: Skeptical Farmer and Co-Op Find Mutual Benefit in Relationship
New Data: How Many Farmers Are Buying Inputs Online and Does it Really Matter?
How Farmers Are Teaching Old Tractors to Think for Themselves
Adapt-N Focuses on Growing Integration Network to Increase Nitrogen Management Accessibility
Tech is Going to Get Much Bigger
Thank you for your continued support!
1. InnerPlant, John Deere Expand Ecosystem to Include Syngenta, Focusing on the Evolution towards Plant by Plant Disease Management - Upstream Ag Professional
InnerPlant, John Deere, and Syngenta are collaborating to create a novel approach to enabling precision agriculture for control of fungal diseases using InnerPlant biosignals, John Deere equipment capabilities, and the know-how of Syngenta in crop protection.
The first principles of disease pathology in conjunction with current agronomic practices and fungicide technology, make this a challenging problem to overcome, but through the collaboration, there is the potential to enable plant-by-plant management and deliver better agronomic, economic and environmental outcomes for farmers.
There will be a further need to add to the ecosystem beyond Syngenta, specifically with opportunities for fertilizer companies and retailers to get involved.
InnerPlant, the seed technology company enabling the earliest possible detection of stress in crops to make farming universally more efficient and sustainable, Syngenta, a global leader in agricultural innovation and crop protection, and John Deere, a global leader in the delivery of agricultural, construction, and forestry equipment, today announce a joint effort to develop an integrated solution to fight fungus in soybeans. The first-of-its-kind solution will link together plants that give off early and specific signals when under attack by fungus with optimized crop protection treatments that are delivered with See & Spray technology.
Last September, John Deere announced they were leading the *InnerPlant Series A Investment, a company that is developing genetically engineered soybeans that elicit unique biosignals when they’re experiencing specific stressors, such as fungal pressure or insect feeding.
InnerPlant’s trait technology platform allows remote sensors, such as satellites, to interpret what a plant is experiencing and when, delivering the ability to more proactively and precisely take action, enabling better outcomes for farmers (view the InnerPlant patent application here).
In March of 2023, InnerPlant and Satellogic announced a collaboration to launch a satellite with sensors capable of interpreting InnerPlant signals.
With the investment from Deere in 2022, it became clear that the goal for Deere was to bring the sensor capability beyond satellites and directly into the field, equipping their sprayers with the ability to accept signals from the InnerPlant trait, augmenting their mission for See and Spray capabilities and plant by plant management.
This week, the collaboration between InnerPlant and Deere expanded to include one of the largest crop protection companies in the world— Syngenta Group.
What Does the Announcement Mean?
At Deere’s Leaps Unlocked Event in 2022, the executive team stated that they were looking at launching See and Spray capabilities for plant disease within the next few years.
In order to offer a plant disease offering successfully (more on this below), they needed to partner with a company that delivered them unique pathogen-based insights at the plant level, leading to the investment in and collaboration with InnerPlant.
Now, in order to better understand how a fungicide performs better and broadly applied usage can be curbed in conjunction with the See and Spray and InnerPlant capabilities, InnerPlant and Deere needed a crop protection partner to work on trials and develop not just the understanding, but the ecosystem.
Syngenta is that crop protection partner that will work with them to establish a system that links together the signal (InnerPlant), the interpretation and the optimized fungicidal application (Deere) to mitigate. The consortium of companies will be starting with two soybean diseases: septoria (septoria glycines) and frog eye leaf spot (Cercospora sojina).
The initial work with the collaboration will work to better leverage InnerPlant signal technology, with John Deere See and Spray Technology, and look at how leveraging that plant data and equipment capabilities to create unique fungicide application approaches in soybean.
In the October 29th 2023 Edition of Upstream Ag Professional, I highlighted the reality that most crop protection companies, including Syngenta, had not externally expressed their approach to navigating precision spray systems and how they will position themselves to remain leaders when the ground is shifting under their feet.
Syngenta is proactively inserting itself into the fold with industry leaders to not only navigate the looming shifts in the crop protection world, but lay the foundation for what the future of crop protection application looks like.
Why is this important?
There are three reasons this is compelling news, with specific reasons for each player.