Industry-Sponsored Research Week

Ben-Gurion U in three-way partnership with Bayer and Netafim to optimize drip irrigation

By David Schwartz
Published: February 12th, 2019

BGN Technologies, the technology transfer company of Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), announced a three-year research collaboration with Bayer and Netafim to improve delivery of Bayer’s crop protection chemicals using Netafim’s novel drip irrigation technology.

The project will combine soil research, digital prediction tools, and drip technology developed by Netafim to establish best practices for using drip irrigation as a delivery system for Bayer Velum Prime, a chemical product that 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 … 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.”

With those environmental as well as health concerns, use of chemical crop protection is being limited and crops lost, so farmers are keen to have sustainable agricultural solutions to preserve crop yields, Cohen points out.

Bayer and Netafim have addressed this challenge with a solution named DripByDrip, which applies the active substances in crop protection products 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.

According to Holger Weckwert, portfolio management segment manager for insecticides solutions at the Bayer Crop Science Division, “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.”

Source: EurekAlert!

Posted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

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