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Bayer and LB-Track sign on partnership agreement in Latin America



The initiative aims to develop an innovative method for the rapid detection of herbicide-resistant weeds

Bayer, a leader in innovative solutions for agriculture, and LB-Track, a Chilean company specializing in precision agriculture and technology transfer, have partnered to develop a faster method to detect herbicide-resistant weeds. The deal’s financial details were not disclosed.

The options currently available to identify resistance demand considerable time for diagnosis, ranging from six to seven months, because it is necessary to send weed seeds in for laboratory analysis, causing a delay that often times does not meet the farmer’s needs.

The difference Bayer and LB-Track are in search of is faster diagnoses. The project is based on a piece of equipment that takes hyperspectral photographs (i.e. images of a same object at different electromagnetic wavelengths) to provide farmers with information on weed resistance to herbicides.

“The initial results have been quite promising. Field tests done in Chile have shown that the method has adequate sensitivity to identify resistant weeds,” explains Renato Arantes, Bayer’s Soy Marketing Manager for Latin America. We hope to extend the tests to Brazil soon.

Weed resistance is a key issue for Bayer because it is directly linked to the sustainability of agriculture and could jeopardize the production of a number of crops. Cases of resistance have already been reported by 69 countries, in 92 types of crops, according to data collected until September 2017 by the International Survey of Herbicide-Resistant Weeds, which monitors the evolution of this issue worldwide.

“To us, at LB-Track, working with Bayer is a great opportunity to develop joint solutions for farmers based on technologies that allow them to optimize resource use to drive sustainable agriculture, from both the economic and the environmental viewpoint,” says Ronald Leichtle, partner and manager at LB-Track.

The term of the agreement is three years, and it is being led by Bayer’s Tropical Agriculture Expertise Center (CEAT) innovation platform, which is in Paulínia (SP), in Brazil, but works with technologies for application throughout Latin America.

About LB-Track

LB-Track was incorporated six years ago as a venture led by two agronomists with over 18 years of experience in precision agriculture and technology transfer and who share a common vision of how Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), such as precision farming tools, can contribute to improving the competitiveness of agricultural enterprises. LB-Track’s focus is to go beyond the generation and delivery of georeferenced data (maps) by integrating them into clear, timely information that helps farmers reduce uncertainty in decision making. LB-Track has the recognition of innovation support institutions, such as Innova Bio Bio, with two consecutive awards (2011 and 2012).

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