Adrian Percy

It’s All About
the C’s

Adrian Percy
Adrian Percy
As the head of Research and Development for the Crop Science division at Bayer, I believe that the way we need to innovate in the future will be different than how we’ve done it in the past in order to solve the daunting world challenges like feeding the 9 billion people by 2050 and finding new technologies to help protect crops against changes in climatic conditions.

While I am proud to lead the 4800 scientists and technical staff who are located across the globe, I know it will take more than just us to generate the new solutions and technologies that will enable growers to produce safe and quality food, feed and fiber. So this brings me to the C’s…it’s all about collaboration, cooperation, and connection. No one company can solve these challenges or bring awareness to an issue by working alone. Let’s take a look at the three C’s:

1. Collaboration:

Bayer is proud to be collaborating with the Australian Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC) through our Herbicide Innovation Partnership (HIP), an innovative cooperation model to jointly discover next-generation weed control solutions. This five-year agreement funded with AUD 45 million over five years has led to 39 scientists now being employed at Bayer’s Frankfurt site. Besides welcoming the scientists, Bayer and GRDC inaugurated the new research laboratories in Frankfurt. Eleven of these new scientists are postdoctoral researchers from Australia and New Zealand who will work on new solutions against resistant weeds for Australia and beyond. This is so important as weed resistance has grown 60 percent in the last 15-years so that a quarter of the worst and most common weeds are already resistant. At the same time, no truely new herbicide mode of action has been discovered for over 20 years.

Adrian Percy
Adrian Percy
Adrian Percy
is the Global Head of Research and Development for Crop Science, a Division of Bayer.
Adrian and Darran Loits, postdoctoral researcher from Australia, in the refurbished weed research lab in Frankfurt.

I had a chance to talk with Darran, one of these bright scientists, about what this partnership meant for him. Although he hasn’t had much experience in ag before starting to work for Bayer, he recognizes how important this collaboration is for Australian farmers. They are funding this partnership and thus investing into research here in Germany because they desperately need new solutions against weeds and believe in our capabilities to find some.

2. Cooperation:

My journey didn’t end in Frankfurt. I traveled to Belgium where we are cooperating with Ghent University on a joint initiative to stimulate the sustainable development of agriculture: the endowed chair ‘Bayer ForwardFarming.’This special chair aims to unite scientific insights and practical knowledge to strengthen Belgian agriculture in the light of future challenges. The chair Prof. Marc Van Meirvenne, dean of the faculty of bioengineering at Ghent University, will lead a team of researchers that will compare a number of possibilities of ‘smart farming’ to current practices on the Forward Farm in Huldenberg. Through this cooperation between the Prof. Van Meirvenne, us and Jan and Josse Peeters, the combined results of soil sensing, tests with targeted fertilization, crop and yield monitoring should generate new scientific insights to continue to improve modern production agriculture.

Adrian Percy stressed the importance of R&D and innovation to address agriculture’s future challenges at the Bayer ForwardFarming Chair Inauguration in Belgium.

3. Connections:

Which leads me to my third C, connections. Just recently we launched Bayer’s Grants4Targets initiative. The program is aimed at finding innovative approaches in the field of weed, disease and pest control in crop plants. This initiative is a way to connect to more bright and diverse minds from academic groups, start-ups and other crop science specialists. Our goal is to find new solutions for increased crop productivity. The answers often come when more than one mind is contributing to the process.

Liam Condon and Richard Clark, Chairman of GRDC, inaugurate the weed research new lab in Frankfurt.

I’d love to hear how you think innovation in agriculture will happen in the future. You can reach me @AdrianPercy2 and let me know your thoughts.

Written by Adrian Percy

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All Comments

David Swirsky
December 07, 2016 - 10:26 PM

Coming from renewable industries we see loss of water a problem for growing. With runoff, soil losses nutrients that need to be replaced. We can recycle certain waste streams and retain phosphorus & nutrients that can be used as a fertilizer. The process also cleans the water for irrigation use.

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Anne Phelps
December 04, 2016 - 02:09 PM

First, I don't consider myself to be highly educated in this field, but we should at least focus on waste, Americans throw out 35 million tons of food each year.
Secondly, aren't there weeds that are edible that can be cultivated right along side of crops? again (this is not my field of study).

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November 10, 2016 - 11:31 AM

Hemp can save the world!
Hemp seeds can be eaten raw, ground into a meal, sprouted, or made into dried sprout powder. The leaves of the hemp plant can be consumed raw in salads. Hemp can also be made into a liquid and used for baking or for beverages such as hemp milk, hemp juice, and tea. Hempseed oil is cold-pressed from the seed and is high in unsaturated fatty acids.
100 grams of hulled hemp seeds supply 586 calories. They are 5% water, 5% carbohydrates, 49% total fat and 31% protein. Hemp seeds are notable in providing 64% of the Daily Value (DV) of protein per 100 gram serving.

Current Readers´ rating (5)

Jim Nuckolls
October 24, 2016 - 01:46 PM

The bigger problem is how to feed people grain based food without causing obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, alzheimer's disease, high blood pressure and the whole range of diseases associated with and caused by eating carbohydrates.

Current Readers´ rating (6)

Jeff byrd
November 22, 2016 - 04:33 PM

I was driving by a community garden the other day and I saw some people working and I stopped and talked to him and the lady in charge and I suggested that I think the government should give away free seeds and plants in the springtime to all poor people so that they can plant Gardens on their own and she informed me that the government used to do that and I asked why do they not do it anymore and she said in the past hundred years or seed supply has gone down 90% due to Corporate America not wanting to share its seeds is this true

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Amarjit S Basra
October 23, 2016 - 11:11 PM

Harnessing the full potential of the C’s will unlock boundless opportunities for scientific advancement, making a real and lasting impact in shaping innovative technology solutions to feed the planet in healthy and sustainable ways.

Certainly, we need to move from individual innovations to new collaborative models, connecting in innovative ways that we’ve never tried before to solve agriculture’s biggest problems. This will allow us to make rapid and transformative progress in developing higher yielding hardier crops and more sustainable modern production agriculture.

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Howard Cross
October 16, 2016 - 02:15 PM

All you need is the property of ph.
A 0 to 10 Balance of the air, water and soil, combined with fish oils.
You can grow .

Proper soil, heavily water,time,sunlight = Food.

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Ron Kent
October 16, 2016 - 12:23 PM

I believe the focus should be on how a plant feeds itself through light. A plant turns light into an energy source for growth. A weed internalizes energy differently than a plant of corn. Simply short-circuit how the weed changes light into energy and growth affectively without short-circuiting how a vegetable type plant does the same thing. Safe and effective process without humans being objected to hurt chemicals in their food.

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George Iljin
October 10, 2016 - 07:53 PM

It seems to be a good approach, I like it, but, may I suggest something? Even though my background have been electro-mechanical engineering and manufacturing for 40 years I learned that any project, regardless the field, has a goal and can be successful only if all the variables are included in the program. Variables that I foresee are related to the human race itself. Humans are facing growth in quantity [1] and "not" in quality of life [2] and there are political [3] and religious [4] issues that will interfere with the intend of this project. just a thought. George

Current Readers´ rating (5)

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