Join us Onsite at a Fully Automated Greenhouse run by Computers

May 25, 2022

The Future of food is now.

In Marana, AZ, Bayer’s newest seven-acre greenhouse facility is a smart site aimed at driving tailored solutions for the future of agriculture. At Marana, the focus is on corn – supporting precision breeding initiatives and the production of new varieties. This site leverages the latest in automation to optimize plant density and workflow. With technological innovation, plant breeding is data driven with sustainability at its heart.

The goal is to create great products for Bayer’s farmer customers, which ultimately brings new products to retail grocery shoppers. To facilitate this, each seed has its own barcode to track its journey from seed to plant. This is key, as each seed is unique in its genetics in terms of new traits (characteristics) and the new product it might lead to. That barcode allows researchers to learn everything they can as the seed moves through the greenhouse. It links the seed with specific environmental information including light, relative humidity, pollination, water, temperature, etc. All these data points help improve the next cycle, and information can be instantaneously shared around the world in real time.

So why Marana? Efficient use of growing space with over 300 days of sunshine allows for accelerated development of new corn varieties. Accelerated development leads to faster learning. This learning can then be used to develop similar systems for other crops, creating more education. More understanding leads to more well-rounded solutions to the tasks ahead of us. See for yourself during the RDBA Morning Fix as Megan Dickens, Production Operations Team Lead with Bayer, provides Phil Lempert with a short virtual tour.