Global leaders in crop nutrition and technology announced a partnership combining resources to better serve farmers.
Yara and IBM will develop a global platform for agriculture, which joins together Yara’s digital farming capabilities, agronomic know-how and team of more than 800 agronomists with IBM’s Watson Studio, IBM PAIRS technology, The Weather Company and other services.
“The agriculture and food industries are in the middle of what could be one of the biggest transformations as different technologies hit the industry with high potential for each of them and a steep curve of adoption. It becomes clear this isn’t just a little topic–it is a disruptive element. It will require companies to rethink how they operate,” says Stefan Furnsinn, Senior Vice President of Digital Farming at Yara.
The teams from IBM and Yara have been collaborating for more than 12 months, but the announcement formalizes the partnership and its long-term strategy. Joint teams working together in Europe, the U.S., Brazil and Singapore. For greatest impact, the joint teams will customize the platform’s offerings for the specific farming practices around the world.
From the IBM perspective, this new partnership further demonstrates the role the company wants to play in improving the food system, according to Luq Niazi, who is the Global Managing Director, Consumer Industries at IBM.
“IBM is already deeply involved in Food Trust, which works with major consumer products companies to certify and verify food throughout the value chain,” Niazi says. “This is exciting to be working with Yara to get involved in the farm to fork journey at the farm level.”
With IBM’s ownership of the Weather Company, the platform will integrate weather data collected from every country around the world—except four. Niazi says its weather platform has 30 million data hits a day already.
Furnsinn notes that when Yara acquired the Adapt-N program in 2017, the company recognized the weather’s role in crop nutrition decisions.
“We think this new partnership will help farmers make optimal crop nutrition decisions on when, what and where to apply,” he says.
The companies will deploy products and services together in the field this growing season and aim to have case studies to share by the end of the year.
Niazi also notes that the platform will ultimately be open for other companies and partners to join. “We are looking to improve the decision-making power that a farmer has, and put that power directly in their hands,” Niazi says.