Ben-Gurion University, Bayer and Netafim to Collaborate on Optimizing Drip Irrigation Application for Crop Protection

Posted: Tuesday 19th February 2019

Bayer, Netafim and BGN Technologies, the technology transfer company of Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), have announced a three-year research collaboration.

The project will combine leading soil research, digital prediction tools and state-of-the art drip technology developed by Netafim to establish best practices for using drip irrigation as a delivery system for Bayer Velum Prime in Israel. Velum Prime combats nematodes (roundworm) and damaging diseases affecting potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, citrus, and brassicas.

"This collaboration agreement with industry leaders such as Bayer and Netafim is a testament to BGU’s leading position in the field of agriculture," said Netta Cohen, chief executive officer of BGN Technologies. "Located in the heart of the Negev desert, the research at the University's Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research on the Sede Boqer campus focuses on water, energy, agricultural, and ecological solutions for extreme desert and drylands conditions, which are increasingly becoming more relevant with environmental changes such as global warming."

Due to medical and environmental concerns, use of chemical crop protection is being limited, resulting in loss of certain products. Farmers are now seeking sustainable agricultural solutions to preserve crop yields.

Bayer and Netafim have addressed this challenge with a new innovative solution named DripByDrip. The concept uses Netafim’s drip irrigation systems to deliver Bayer's chemical and biological crop protection products. DripByDrip applies the active substances precisely to the plant, resulting in higher efficacy, lower amounts of crop protection compound and lesser environmental impact.

Assisted by BGU scientists from the Blaustein Institutes, the group will work to calibrate digital prediction models for optimized application of crop protection compounds via drip irrigation. This includes laboratory and field studies evaluating the behavior of Bayer Velum Prime in soils and plants under typical agricultural conditions in arid regions.

Research will be conducted at the Blaustein Institutes and Netafim facilities in Israel. It will be led by BGU Prof. Shimon Rachmilevitch, Dr. Marc Rist of the Bayer Crop Science Division, and Dubi Raz, corporate agronomy director at Netafim.

Holger Weckwert, portfolio management segment manager for insecticides solutions at the Bayer Crop Science Division, said, "Applying crop protection compounds using drip irrigation accurately targets the relevant plants, and is an environmentally friendly, efficient and cost-effective contribution to sustainable agriculture. We look forward to collaborating with leading BGU scientists."

"Drip irrigation delivers water, fertilizers and crop protection, including biologicals, directly to the roots of the crops,” says Netafim’s Dubi Raz. “This approach enables farmers to apply crop protection products in a more targeted way using Netafim’s drip irrigation technology. Following our successful long-term partnership with Bayer, we are pleased to now welcome BGU's scientists in assisting us in optimizing the application of crop protection compounds via drip irrigation." Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE

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