At Bayer, we believe in the power of human ingenuity that continues to shape agriculture for the benefits of farmers, consumers, and our planet. We must move forward with our eyes on a more sustainable future. Every commitment to innovation should be a commitment to sustainability. One way this commitment comes to life is through Bayer ForwardFarming, a knowledge platform that fosters dialogue and showcases on-farm sustainable practices with farmers.
In partnership with independent farmers, Bayer ForwardFarming creates opportunities for demonstration, dialogue, and collaboration on farms around the world. Tailored solutions, proactive stewardship measures, and partnerships are implemented to show how modern agriculture can go hand in hand with environmental and social responsibility.
What is a Bayer ForwardFarm?
Bayer ForwardFarms are independent farms located across Europe, Latin America and North America. While each farm is unique in the crops it grows, the land it farms and the community it serves, they all share a commitment to promoting sustainable and scalable practices that benefit farmers, consumers, and our planet.
Bayer ForwardFarming demonstrates solutions that support sustainability in agriculture comprised of three components:
Every farm is different, and every field within a farming operation is unique. As a result, every solution should be tailored to meet the needs of the individual farmer and their specific field.
Chemical and biological crop protection products combine to protect against weeds, pests, and diseases. Other measures and decision support tools help to optimize the applications and allow farmers to apply only as much as is truly needed.
From advanced weather monitoring to satellite remote sensing, digital technology enables farmers to take advantage of the data at their fingertips. Data science transforms traditional practices into an integrated system focused on sustainable use. Real-time data drives the precise application of resources, and state-of-the-art software allows for quick, easy analysis of crop management and protection.
ForwardFarming promotes and demonstrates proactive stewardship to protect human health and preserve the environment. Examples include: addressing the safe and responsible use of crop protection products; preserving soil, biodiversity, and water; and offering training in all of these areas.
Safe Use of Crop Protection Products
Ensuring the responsible handling and application of products is an essential part of farming safety. ForwardFarming serves as a demonstration and knowledge exchange for farmers and other stakeholders to share, learn, and adopt best practices to keep themselves safe and continue to produce enough food.
For farmer support, Bayer provides an online tool called BAYER DRESSCODE with information about personal protection. Bayer has also developed a new closed system device called easyFlow®. This device allows operators to measure and translocate crop protection products without being exposed to them.
Enhancement of Natural Habitat
On each farm, coexistence with the natural surroundings is important not only for the environment, but for the health of the crops. Depending on the local habitat and species, farms implement diverse features including:
Mixed plant hedges act as a windshield for fruit crops and help prevent spray drift.
Flowering strips and mixed hedges ensure that bees, wild pollinators, and other beneficial insects have food and shelter throughout the year when active.
Nesting boxes are provided for small birds and resting places for predatory birds.
Insect hotels provide habitat and encourage activity, especially by wild pollinators.
Open plots allow skylarks to land and build their nests in the surrounding fields.
Water is one of our most valuable resources. Regardless of the activity, using and preserving water in a responsible manner is in the farmer’s and the environment’s best interest.
One example is the Phytobac™ system used on ForwardFarms to ensure safe disposal and cleaning of wastewater. Residue water collected from a designated cleaning area is distributed slowly over a basin filled with a soil and straw mixture. Microorganisms in the soil remove chemical residue, and the clean water evaporates.
Bayer ForwardFarming partners with food and value chain participants, research centers and universities, and industry leaders to create space for dialogue and demonstration—connecting farmers with the communities around them and beyond.
Just a few examples of partnerships established by current ForwardFarms include:
University of Ghent (Belgium)
National Corn Growers Association Soil Health Partnership (USA)