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“Sensor technology assists a more targeted and resource-efficient use of crop protection products”

Dr. Helmut Schramm will speak about digital farming at Farm&Food 4.0. As a preview, he gave us a first insight into the strategies of Bayer CropScience:


Development in the crop protection industry is rapid. Not only through mechanical crop protection or the use of robots, but also sensor technology plays an increasing role.

Bayer CropScience recently presented its new brand xarvio, with which Bayer would like to take bold steps in the direction of digital farming. Dr. Helmut Schramm from Bayer CropScience Germany will be commenting on his position as part of his keynote at Farm&Food 4.0. We spoke to him prior to the event about the current social discussion regarding crop protection and Bayer’s response to this.


Dr. Schramm, the public is increasingly more sensitive regarding the topics, biodiversity, bee health, water and user protection. How do you address these topics whereby the debate very often involves glyphosates?

Dr. Helmut Schramm: “Consumers have separated themselves considerably from modern agriculture and farming over the last few decades. It is now our task to communicate transparently what we do, how we do it and why we do it. This is why we want to better explain modern farming.

Biodiversity, bee protection, user protection and water protection – we are very active in all of these sectors at our Bayer Bayer Forward Farms. We show at the farms how modern farming can be done in a sustainable and resource-efficient manner.”

It’s your goal to improve farming and agriculture for both farmers and the environment. How exactly should xarvio contribute to this?

“xarvio offers the possibility to provide more decision support by collating a large amount of data. A farmer needs to make a lot of decisions every day. By collating and evaluating this data, we can offer the farmer the possibility to make better decisions and apply them in a more targeted manner and to then only treat where necessary, thereby allowing him to work in a more sustainable and resource-efficient way. 

In doing so, sensor technology plays a large role. In the future, we will even be able to treat individual plants. Sensors will allow us to determine weeds and grass weeds and to then only open nozzles when such are recognized. This will be essential for the targeted use of plant protection products.”

Which Digital Farming services and products are on the horizon? Where is the journey heading?

“We have two concrete examples. xarvio Scouting looks at identifying symptoms, diseases and/or pests. xarvio Field Manager offers farmers decision support, targeted use and thereby the optimum implementation of equipment and resources.” 

Why is the Farm & Food 4.0 conference so important and what are you expecting from your participation?

“It is important to get the industry together as a whole, both from the farming and the food sector, as well as being able to show innovation, have a platform for discussion and thereby find new solutions for the challenges of our time.”

What is the largest challenge that businesses currently need to confront considering the increasing role of digitalization?

“Businesses should constantly question their business model. Digitalization should be used as a chance to find new directions. This requires the openness to also implement these new directions.”

You can find all program info about Farm&Food 4.0 here.