Exclusive: Leaf helps Bayer ‘rapidly expand’ FieldView digital partnerships

Editor’s Note: G. Bailey Stockdale is CEO of Leaf, a data infrastructure startup for food and agriculture. Here he reveals his company’s partnership with Bayer and the impact they say it has had on their Climate FieldView business so far.

Bayer Crop Science’s digital agriculture arm Climate has launched for the first time ControlView in 2015 to help growers make data-driven decisions to maximize yields from every acre. This digital agriculture platform allows producers to collect, store and analyze their data in one place with compatibility across many types of equipment and connectivity to multiple farm management software systems.

One of the main goals of FieldView is to connect partners through an API to give farmers more ways to access and use their data. The goal, they say, is to give farmers the availability of their data, where they want it, when they want it.

Growing partnerships with Leaf

But as Bayer began to build its ecosystem, the team realized it was spending too much time on the logistics of connecting with its API partners. This reduced the time they could spend on what they did best: creating a valuable tool for farmers.

Seth Erwin, strategic account manager at Bayer’s Climate FieldView, told me that the time it takes to connect with agricultural partners was the biggest challenge. “Even though we have quite a large team internally, each partner is a little different and each has other priorities they are working on as well. It is not enough to flip a switch and activate the connection for the data to flow,” he said.

So in 2021, we entered into an agreement with Bayer to help them integrate their partners faster and more efficiently by asking them to log in through Leaf. We’ve created tools to help developers easily connect to climate and other data providers to access user-authorized field boundaries, application data, planting data, harvest data , etc

Erwin told me that the difference in onboarding speed is now weeks, not months or years like before. This is partly because it alleviates the need for Bayer to have lengthy conversations with partners about the process as well as involving their engineers; in most cases, we have already had these initial conversations with partners and our extensive documentationthe tutorials and support team are also helpful.

“From an integration point of view, it went really well. Usually we can tell when they start the actual work because we get notified if there’s a scope missing in their API key, for example, and I can work with engineering to add it quickly and they just realizing, ‘hey it’s done, we’re live.’ Everything went very well on both sides, for us and for the partners”, underlines Thomas Nesbitt, senior product manager within Bayer’s Climate FieldView team.

Another battle Bayer faced was prioritizing which OEM partner to connect with first, often spending valuable time aligning internally. But now we can help Bayer run multiple implementations in parallel so the team can get started faster with new partners.

We waited to announce it until it was proven to work for businesses with real results. For example, Bayer partners such as Aegro, ARVA Intelligence, Hutchinson, Landus Cooperativeand Ceres Solutions Cooperative worked with Leaf to launch production-ready FieldView integrations in just weeks; integrations that include two-way transfer of field boundaries, planting, application and harvest data, prescriptions, and more.

“Our teams can now focus on increasing the value FieldView’s partner program can bring to growers, while Leaf handles the technical aspects, ensuring they have the opportunity and ability to connect to other innovative solutions,” said Sachi Desai, Senior Director of Digital Partnerships. , Bayer Crop Science.

Minimize API maintenance

In the past, Climate was also mired in the ongoing maintenance of its own API and partner connections.

“The maintenance element was where, as we started to scale and we started getting a significant number of partners, we realized we didn’t have the resources for that. That again led to our decision to create our partnership with Leaf. It used to be that it took a huge amount of time to integrate, and then there was always a bit of maintenance that seemed to keep happening,” Erwin said.

Now that Climate is working with us to facilitate connections with their partners, they can focus on their main goal: creating a great tool for farmers to capture, analyze and use data.

“It’s not stuck in our system. Farmers can take the data elsewhere and work with people who focus on different areas. We know that farmers have hundreds of decisions to make every day. And, to believe that one system can provide all of these solutions, I think is not fair. The API gives us the ability to allow farmers to use this data on any network to make decisions,” he added.

In addition to helping farmers use their data, Climate is also able to provide similar value to agricultural retailers, although, as Nesbitt pointed out to me, “From our perspective, producer control is always at the top of the list. We have always been committed to producers owning their data and doing with their data what they want to do. But certainly, as retailers have made the decision to dive deep into building their own products or adopting other products, that need for agricultural data interoperability has certainly increased.

Skyrocketing activity

Since Bayer and Leaf began working together, engagement on Climate’s platform has skyrocketed from farmers actively using Climate FieldView data, according to Erwin who said the team has seen higher traffic entering its APIs since the start of the partnership and the number of integrated partners. increased. Jeremy Williams, head of climate and all of Bayer’s digital agriculture group, also heard good things and told us, “Leaf’s technology is helping us rapidly expand the FieldView API ecosystem and Leaf’s team is super responsive, organized and a pleasure to work with. with.”

At Leaf, we agree that the future of agtech lies in partnership. As new ways to leverage data emerge, there will be increased demand across industry for accessible, interoperable, and quality data.

“For me, the future vision is this seamless transfer of data. Let farmers send and retrieve data the way they want, in and out of the systems they want to use. From the perspective of a supplier or a company, let the data flow,” added Nesbitt.