Seed World

The Future Only Works Together: Bringing Ancient Wisdom and Latest Tech Together

Expert Agricultural Scientist,

Mark Bieri holds a degree in Agriculture with Business Management and International Natural Resource Management from the University of Wales Bangor and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Warwick Business School. After working on various farm businesses and at the University of Cambridge, among other, he joined KWS in 2017. He has been responsible for implementing new platforms and digital services there for four years.

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How can the use of resources be managed more efficiently, and the yield capacity of arable land be secured in the long term in view of the many challenges and requirements facing agriculture? Just as in many other sectors, digital applications have a huge range of potential uses in agriculture, where they can further improve production processes and enable secure, sustainable food production.

The seed specialist KWS is combining the latest technology with its over 165 years of accumulated knowledge in plant breeding to develop the food solutions of tomorrow. The company has been supporting farmers with its high-yielding seeds for generations. In the last years, KWS has added digital agricultural applications to its innovative plant breeding expertise. The aim is to improve growing decisions, optimize yields and get the best possible overall result from plants’ genetic constitution.

Guiding farmers through the harvest year with myKWS

myKWS is an online desktop- and app-based platform for farmers in 30 countries. Generations of farmers around the world have trusted KWS for its high-yielding seed and in-depth agricultural knowledge – and the company has added digital services to the mix. myKWS offers extensive expert advice and cleverly designed smart-farming technology — a combination that is contributing to important progress in global agriculture.

The level of innovation in myKWS can be seen from the example of SAT DM-Monitoring (satellite dry matter monitoring). For millions of farmers, determining the level of dry matter is of vital importance for the silage corn harvest. Harvesting too soon or too late can sometimes result in yield losses of up to 10% and therefore lost income. Whereas in the past, farmers have relied on the naked eye to judge the optimal harvesting time, SAT DM Monitoring can give them detailed statistics. Satellite-based images capture the light reflected by the corn in high resolution down to just a few meters and can identify the maturity of the plants. The analyses are calibrated to the specific KWS variety, adding in-depth plant breeding knowledge to the process. myKWS provides users with a weekly overview of the plants’ condition and a forecast for the following week.

Farmers can feed myKWS with useful information, plot their fields on a map and input the type of KWS seed used and the time of sowing. The tool evaluates dry matter, differentiating between specific subareas and varieties. This enables farmers to decide on which days and in what order they want to harvest the fields, ensuring good and high-quality harvest.

myKWS is driving innovations around the complete cropping year. Next to in season monitoring and harvest optimization KWS, as a seed specialist, is also supporting the farmers digitally in the sowing season. Farmers know the influences of different parameters such as soil structure and water-holding capacity, which vary between different areas of the same field. The variable rate seeding service in myKWS delivers real added value by recommending a specific seed rate for all zones of the field – adjusted for the particular KWS variety. Farmers can use a data interface such as the cloud or a USB connection to import the application map directly into the machine terminal. This is how the variable rate seeding service is put into practice.

These examples are just two of more than 30 myKWS services. They help farmers use data to take yield-related decisions, optimize crop rotation in agronomic and economic terms, more easily identify diseases and pests, and take advantage of fast new communication methods.

Farmers value digital tools and personalized advice

The company offers farmers year-round advice with expert agricultural knowledge — 365 days a year. This means that as well as providing personal consulting services, the regional KWS experts support farmers via the platform with digital information and recommendations throughout the season.

The myKWS services are an important part of KWS’s strategic sustainability goals: the company wants to increase total agricultural yield worldwide by 1.5% annually. Up to one-quarter of this target yield is to be achieved by providing farmers with digital solutions for more than 6 million hectares by 2030.

The myKWS platform showcases the strength of merging simple and complex tools to offer a valuable decision support service to its users. By harnessing the extensive knowledge and data of a seed breeding company like KWS, myKWS provides a comprehensive and powerful solution for farmers. This unique approach blends farmers’ wisdom and expertise with state-of-the-art breeding and digital technology, creating a powerful mix that empowers informed decision-making, optimized operations, and sustainable, efficient food production on a global scale. As the agricultural landscape continues to evolve, the myKWS platform serves as a testament to the importance of embracing both the ancient wisdom of traditional farming practices and the latest technological advancements.