Bayer Tests Innovative Generative AI Tool in Agriculture Trials

Bayer Unveils Pilot of Expert GenAI System to Revolutionize Agriculture

Bayer has introduced a groundbreaking pilot of its expert GenAI system, aimed at revolutionizing agricultural practices and empowering agronomists worldwide. Leveraging proprietary agronomic data, Bayer has trained a large language model (LLM) with extensive internal insights from thousands of trials across its vast testing network, alongside centuries of collective experience from Bayer agronomists globally.

The result is a sophisticated expert system capable of swiftly and accurately addressing queries related to agronomy, farm management, and Bayer agricultural products. Unlike traditional methods, this intuitive system responds to natural language input and can generate expert information within seconds. Validated by agronomists, the pilot is already enhancing productivity for Bayer teams in the United States, surpassing out-of-the-box LLMs currently serving the agricultural sector.

Compared to the current norm, where farmers rely on time-consuming processes to obtain critical information, Bayer’s expert GenAI system marks a paradigm shift. It enables agronomic advisors to swiftly provide detailed insights about product characteristics, performance under specific conditions, and application rates, significantly reducing the time farmers wait for urgent information.

Amanda McClerren, CIO and Head of Digital Transformation & Information Technology for Bayer’s Crop Science Division, stated, “Our unique GenAI system holds immense potential to serve agronomists and benefit farmers globally, further establishing AI as an indispensable tool in agriculture.”

Developed in collaboration with Microsoft as the leading technology partner and Ernst & Young (EY) as an industry partner, Bayer is exploring avenues to integrate the expert GenAI system into its digital offerings. The company anticipates widespread collaboration opportunities with other agricultural offerings and partners, aiming to democratize access to agronomic advice and critical product information for millions of smallholder farmers globally.

Ranveer Chandra, Managing Director, Research for Industry & CTO, Agri-Food at Microsoft, emphasized, “With Bayer’s strengths in data science, digital, and agronomic expertise, we’re pleased to contribute to an expert system that enhances accessibility to agronomic understanding.”

Bayer plans to expand the pilot of the expert GenAI system to selected agronomists and potentially farmers later this year. Additionally, the company is advancing a separate GenAI prototype, allowing users to directly query their farm data, thereby providing more meaningful value compared to out-of-the-box LLMs.

In addition to the expert GenAI system, Bayer and Microsoft have collaborated on enhancing cloud offerings for the agri-food industry. Bayer® Historical Weather, a comprehensive weather dataset spanning the last 40 years, integrated into Azure Data Manager for Agriculture, offers detailed field-level weather insights globally. This capability, now available for industry use, facilitates weather risk assessments and crop seasonality forecasting, among other applications.

Furthermore, Bayer is developing a connector in collaboration with leading original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Lindsay Corporation, enabling access to irrigation data. This initiative expands the data types available to Azure Data Manager’s enterprise customers, fostering the development of digital tools to monitor, measure, and control water usage in fields.

These cloud offerings also support regulatory and sustainability reporting, with capabilities like Bayer® Smart Boundary ID facilitating supply chain traceability and compliance with regulations such as the EU Deforestation Regulation.

Jeremy Williams, Head of Digital Farming for Bayer’s Crop Science Division, emphasized the importance of digital technology in serving farmers and the industry, stating, “There is both a tremendous opportunity and a pressing need for digital technology to better serve farmers and the industry, and we aim to achieve this by enabling the cloud-connected acre.”

Bayer’s Crop Science Division will participate in the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit in San Francisco on Mar. 19-20, where they will discuss recent advancements in cutting-edge technologies like GenAI and industry cloud solutions.

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