Bayer teams with satellite imaging firm to develop new applications

Ceres

Planetary Resources’ space-based Earth observation constellation Ceres will provide a new level of crop intelligence for the global agricultural industry.

Monheim, Germany-based Bayer AG and Redmond, Wash.-based Planetary Resources have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop applications based on satellite imaging.

Bayer plans to purchase the data from aerospace technology provider Planetary Resources to create new agricultural products and improve existing ones, according to a news release.

The collaboration will be part of Bayer’s Digital Farming Initiative.

Using cameras equipped with special filters, satellite imaging can detect differences in the light wavelengths reflected by soils and plants. In plants, these differences can denote stressors but don’t identify the specific causes.

It would be up to the grower or consultant to visit that part of the field to find out if the stress is due to poor irrigation, pests or something else.

But by having this eye in the sky, problems can typically be caught earlier and before they’re even visible from walking through a field.