For a long time, our entire Bayer SeedGrowth equipment section used to be U.S.-focused. However, the demand for innovative seedapplied solutions has been increasing all around the globe. Currently, Latin America is an important market, but Asia is a target too, since rice treatment is becoming more and more mainstream. To cover the expansion of the business we needed a new facility – one where we have enough space to demonstrate our machinery to customers.
We decided to build our new SeedGrowth Equipment Innovation Center in Shakopee, Minnesota (USA). Being an integrated company with the unique fourfold competence brand such as Bayer SeedGrowth, we want to stay cuttingedge when it comes to our offer. Our equipment portfolio allows us to meet users’ needs in all product segments.
We provide stateof- the-art machinery for seed-applied technologies, including large on-farm equipment and small mobile systems such as back-of-thetruck solutions consisting of basic application equipment plus a power generator, which are driven from farm to farm. In Shakopee, we produce 40 different treating machines so that our customers can select tailored solutions for their unique seeds.
To ensure high-quality seed treatment, hands-on training is an integral part of everything we do at Bayer SeedGrowth. That’s why we demonstrate both new and existing technologies in our new Equipment Innovation Center. In fact, training and demonstrations are key components of this site.
Therefore, we enlarged our facilities and included an advanced R&D part and training center where we can train up to 120 people, both external customers such as certified treaters, farmers or seed companies — but also internal staff such as support personnel and sales representatives from all over the world. The main challenge is developing the service capacity of the machinery as we expand all over the world. Supplying the machines is one thing, keeping them running is something else.
The main objective of seed treatment is making sure that the applications fully cover the seed all the time. If we can manage our own equipment to do that, it benefits our customers because they are assured that what they supply their farmers is accurately treated. In the future, we want to identify how we can build even better seed treaters to further support our customers in treating seeds accurately every single time. Thus, innovation is basically what the R&D center is designed for.