Bayer Crop Science’s digital agriculture arm, Climate LLC, first launched FieldView™ in 2015 to help growers make data-driven decisions to maximize return on every acre. This digital farming platform allows growers to collect, store and analyze their data in one place with compatibility across many equipment types and connectivity to multiple farm management software systems.
A key focus for FieldView is to connect partners via an API to give farmers more ways to access and use their data.
“The goal is to give the farmers the availability of their data, wherever they want it, whenever they want it.”
- Seth Erwin, strategic account lead with Bayer’s Climate FieldView
Growing Partnerships With Leaf
As Bayer started building their ecosystem, they realized they were spending too much time on the logistics of connecting with their API partners. That cut into the time they could spend doing what they do best: creating a valuable tool for farmers.
Erwin described the struggles early on had to do with how long it took to connect with ag partners, *"Even though we've got a pretty large team internally, every partner is a little bit different and everyone's got other priorities they're working on as well. It's not just flipping a switch and turning the connection on to get the data to flow." *
In 2021 Bayer began working with Leaf to onboard their partners faster and more efficiently. By asking their partners to connect via Leaf, Bayer was able to focus all of their effort on building value for their customers while simultaneously making life easier for their partners.
"One of the key reasons why we are so impressed and happy with the partnership we have with Leaf is because weeks later we're moving data, not months to quarters or years later.”
- Seth Erwin, strategic account lead with Bayer’s Climate FieldView
Another battle Bayer faced was prioritizing which OEM partner to connect first, often spending valuable time getting internally aligned. With Leaf, Bayer can now run multiple implementations in parallel. Sachi Desai, Senior Director of Digital Partnerships, Bayer Crop Science, explained,"We pursue platform agreements that provide value to customers, and the Leaf team has helped us accelerate and expand those efforts."
Thanks to Bayer’s partnership with Leaf, they’re able to get started with new partners, faster, and those partners are quickly seeing real-world results. For example, Bayer partners such as Aegro, ARVA Intelligence, Hutchinsons, Landus Cooperative, Ceres Solutions Cooperative have worked together with Leaf to launch production-ready FieldView integrations in just a few weeks. Integrations that include bi-directional transfer of field boundaries, planted, applied, and harvest data, prescriptions, and more.
"Our teams can now focus on increasing the value that FieldView's partner program can bring to growers, while Leaf manages the technical aspects, ensuring they have the option and ability to connect to other innovative solutions."
- Sachi Desai, Senior Director of Digital Partnerships, Bayer Crop Science.
Thomas Nesbitt, Senior Product Manager with Bayer’s Climate FieldView team shared how the the process shifted from having lengthy conversations with partners about the process as well as involving their engineers, to shortening implementation time with Leaf. "From an integration standpoint it's been really smooth. Generally we can tell when they are starting the actual work because we get notified if there's a scope missing from their API key, for example, and I can work with engineering to get that added quickly and they just report back, 'hey it's done, we're live'. It's just been super smooth on both sides, for us and the partners."
Leaf has built tools to help developers easily connect with Climate and other data providers to access user-permissioned field boundaries, application data, planting data, harvest data and more. Leaf’s extensive documentation, tutorials, and support team help Climate partners connect quickly and easily.
Minimize API Maintenance
In the past, Climate was bogged down not only by the time it took to integrate new partners, but also with ongoing maintenance of their own API and their partner’s connections.
Erwin highlighted, “It was the maintaining piece too. I think that's where, as we began to scale and started to really get a significant number of partners up, we realized we're not resourced for this. That again led to our decision to create our partnership with Leaf. Previously, it took a tremendous amount of time to get integrated and then there was always a bit of maintenance that seemed to continue to occur.”
Focus on Farmer Value
Now that Climate works with Leaf to facilitate connections with their partners, they can focus on their core purpose: creating a great tool for farmers to capture, analyze and use data.
Erwin was happy to explain that the data is not stuck in the system, “Farmers can take the data somewhere else and work with folks that are focusing on different areas. We know farmers have hundreds of decisions to make a day. And, to believe that one system can provide all those solutions, I think isn't right. The API gives us the ability to enable farmers to use that data across any network for decisions.”
In addition to helping farmers use their data, Climate is also able to provide similar value to ag retailers. Nesbitt stressed, "From our perspective, grower control is still top on the list. We've always committed to growers owning their data and doing with their data what they want to do. But certainly, as retailers have made decisions on whether to dive deep into building their own products, or adopt other products, this need for the interoperability of ag data has certainly grown.”
Partnering For The Future of Agriculture
Since Bayer and Leaf began work together, engagement on Climate’s platform has skyrocketed from farmers who are actively using Climate FieldView data. "We can see we've got higher traffic going into our APIs since we've made this partnership with Leaf,” Erwin said. "We're raising the number of partners that we have, and those partners are utilizing their tools to improve what farmers are doing. That’s the success we’re seeing - it’s benefiting the farmer.”
“Leaf's technology is helping us quickly expand the FieldView API ecosystem and the Leaf team is hyper-responsive, organized, and a pleasure to work with.” – Jeremy Williams, Head of Climate LLC and Digital Farming, Bayer Crop Science
Leaf agrees that the future of Agtech is rooted in partnership. As new ways to realize value from data emerge, there will be increased demand across the industry for accessible, interoperable, and quality data.
"To me the future vision is this seamless transfer of data. Let farmers send and retrieve data as they want to, and in and out of the systems that they want to use. From a provider or company standpoint, let the data flow.”
- Thomas Nesbitt, Senior Product Manager