Corporate Digital Solutions Partnerships Precision Ag

BASF, Kubota, & ZEN-NOH Partner to Advance Rice Production in Japan

BASF, Kubota, and ZEN-NOH have announced a collaboration to improve and optimize rice production in Japan to tackle challenges such as an aging workforce, labor shortages, and farmland consolidation.

The first phase of the collaboration involves integrating BASF’s advanced xarvio® FIELD MANAGER crop optimization platform with Kubota’s KSAS operating platform, which would increase convenience, optimize fertilizer use, boost yield, and provide a higher return on investment for farmers. This integration aligns with Japan’s MeaDRI strategy for sustainable food systems, aiming to make farmers more sustainable and globally competitive while achieving established fertilizer reduction targets.

The second phase will assess the performance of the integrated platforms through field trials managed by ZEN-NOH during the 2023 growing season. Farmers experienced with the cardio FIELD MANAGER and Kubota’s KSAS platform will participate in these trials, utilizing the integrated platforms for targeted fertilization.

These upcoming trials build upon the success of more than 100 field trials conducted last year by ZEN-NOH and BASF. Those trials used Xarvio FIELD MANAGER’s variable application maps for fertilization, achieved yield increases of 15% to 20% and an average fertilizer input reduction of 10%. In some cases, depending on field conditions, fertilizer use was reduced by up to 50%.

Konstantin Kretschun, Global Head of BASF Digital Farming, emphasized the importance of sustainable practices. “Rice farmers in Japan recognize the need to become more sustainable and globally competitive while reducing environmental impacts and meeting MeaDRI strategy targets,” he said. “Climate-smart farming technology provides a proven, effective, and available solution to help them achieve these goals.”

In April 2021, BASF and ZEN-NOH launched the cardio FIELD MANAGER in Japan, quickly gaining adoption due to its ability to provide field-specific, measurable agronomic benefits. The digital product uses plant models, agronomic algorithms, and data inputs to provide farmers with precise, field-specific agronomic crop fertilization and protection recommendations.

The integration with Kubota’s decisive KSAS farming and service support system allows for seamless data transfer without additional devices, making it easier for farmers to apply Xarvio FIELD MANAGER’s variable application maps for fertilization.

The fully integrated platform is expected to be commercially available in Japan by spring 2024, marking a significant step towards transforming rice production.

Image provided by BASF

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