For the first time ever, signals produced by a plant’s physiological response to infection will be linked to optimized crop treatments delivered with John Deere See & Spray(™) technology. Innovative technology allows plants to fluoresce when attacked by fungal pathogens.

InnerPlant, the seed technology company enabling the earliest possible detection of stress in crops to make farming universally more efficient and sustainable, Syngenta, a global leader in agricultural innovation and crop protection, and John Deere, a global leader in the delivery of agricultural, construction, and forestry equipment, today announce a joint effort to develop an integrated solution to fight fungus in soybeans. The first-of-its-kind solution will link together plants that give off early and specific signals when under attack by fungus with optimized crop protection treatments that are delivered with See & Spray technology.

“Fungal diseases are a massive and growing problem facing farmers who already face a great deal of risk in their operations,” explains Shely Aronov, CEO and co-founder of InnerPlant. “A solution that links signals directly from plants’ physiological responses to the individualized, precise delivery of optimized inputs will make farmers’ lives easier by delivering both improved efficacy and efficiency.”

Early detection of fungal disease infections is a challenge
Globally, crops are attacked by fungal diseases that result in substantial yield losses. And the problem is getting worse, according to experts who cite climate change and rising resistance to common fungicides as contributing to fast-rising fungal attacks that threaten the world’s food supply and a “global health catastrophe.”

“The technology from InnerPlant allows the detection of plant diseases at the earliest possible stage identifying plant diseases that otherwise often go undetected or untreated,” says Feroz Sheikh, Syngenta’s Chief Information and Digital Officer. “We are happy to engage in these initial trials with our partners. Integrated, innovative solutions are a critical path forward for managing the growing impact of soybean diseases and ensuring that farmers have the tools they need to feed the world.”

Integrated Precision
InnerPlant creates crops that emit specific optical signals when they’re under stress from pathogen attacks, such as fungal infections. Those signals are visible from machines and satellites as much as two weeks before the stress is visible to the human eye at field level. The data from the crop signals provide early warning of an attack at the individual plant level to assist a crop protection specialist in optimizing the use of a Syngenta product for the treatment of the specific need. John Deere’s See & Spray technology allows treatments to be varied and applied only where needed to prevent fungal damage to the crop.

“We are excited to see Syngenta join the efforts to develop a solution to improve customer outcomes, says Dan Leibfried, John Deere’s Director, Corn & Soy Production Systems. “This is the first time we are designing plants, equipment and inputs in an integrated and optimized solution as we work to make farmers more efficient and profitable.”

Read the press release here.