Competence areas

Equipment

Country/Region

Global, United States

Crops

All

Date

July 2015

Equipment

The right tools

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Every handyman knows you need the right tool for the job. Nobody tries to fix a leaky sink with a hammer – and you shouldn’t attempt seed treatment without the proper equipment either. Whether you are a grower in Kansas protecting your corn from pests or a soybean farmer in Brazil looking into adding inoculants, Bayer SeedGrowth has the ability to help you get more from your crop.
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What it comes down to is customized application solutions, no matter where you are, how big your farm is, and what crop you are growing. At the end of the day, it’s all about better yields and healthier plants – and equipment plays a vital part in achieving just that. In the United States, Australia, or Canada, the operation might be so big that on-farm equipment to treat cereal seed is deployed. But just as important are the small-holder farmers in places like Nicaragua, where Bayer SeedGrowth has mobile treatment systems driven farm to farm on the back of a truck.


“The objective of seed treatment is to ensure every seed is precisely and accurately treated every time.”

Peter Herold, Team Leader Global Engeneering Services

A holistic approach

Taking a holistic approach to on-seed application, Bayer is the only crop protection company developing and selling its own application equipment. This has potentially huge benefits for customers, who can pick solutions tailored to their unique needs. “The objective of seed treatment is to ensure every seed is precisely and accurately treated every time,” says Peter Herold, team leader for Bayer’s global engineering services. “And the role of the equipment is to ensure that this objective can be achieved while ensuring easy and trouble-free operation for the user.” Herold works at Bayer’s dedicated equipment facility in Shakopee, Minnesota. He is part of a team offering hands-on experience with a variety of seed treaters such as the CBT range, On Demand systems and the RH series, as well a multitude of important peripheral items.

Hands-on training

As demand for innovative seed-applied solutions is increasing worldwide, Bayer recently invested significant resources in revamping and greatly expanding the facility in Minnesota, which now brings together the best aspects of innovation and training when it comes to seed treatment equipment. Careful planning and attention to details helped to make this a first-class training and technology center.
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The new equipment facility in Shakopee, Minnesota

Currently there are 50 employees associated with the site. Beyond that, a more efficient manufacturing operation with modernized production lines and warehousing areas has been created and production strategy has changed to increase throughput: from custom build to a “make to stock” strategy to enable capacity increases. The lead time for industrial equipment was thus reduced by 65 %, downstream equipment by 85 %, and production capacity increased to support rapidly growing demands. “Furthermore, our sustained business growth last year consisted of both domestic and global sales,” says Steve Stokes, Marketing Communications, Bayer SeedGrowth U.S. “This change from our previous site signifies the transformation of simply being a manufacturing plant to being the center of seed-applied technology and training,” he adds.
Visitors also have the privilege of seeing first-hand how their Bayer SeedGrowth equipment is designed, engineered, and manufactured all under one roof. “At Shakopee, we can manage a group of up to 120 people and dive deep into all aspects of the machines,” Peter Herold explains. “But we also utilize Bayer SeedGrowth Centers around the world.” And it’s that global network of centers that gives Bayer an unparalleled training capability combining international expertise with local knowledge. Training has been divided into three levels, starting with basic operation of the equipment and moving through to all aspects of troubleshooting, including software management.


“At Shakopee, we can manage a group of up to 120 people and dive deep into all aspects of the machines.”

Peter Herold, Team Leader Global Engeneering Services

Focused on customers

Herold and his team are constantly working to improve Bayer’s training offerings, tweaking them to fit the specific requirements of the customers. For example, a large international seed company uses Bayer’s Poncho/VOTiVO in South Africa to protect young plants from pests during the critical early development stages. And having the right equipment can make a huge difference. “They replaced their old seed treaters with two Loss In Weight CBT 100s from Bayer,” explains Callie Kruger, a SeedGrowth manager in South Africa. “And they have the Programmable Logic Controller, which automatically adjusts the application and coordinates different types of seed and product.”
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The reception area in Shakopee

Stewardship efforts

An important aspect of training sessions is also devoted to Bayer’s stewardship efforts, making sure equipment operators do all they can to ensure both human safety and limit environmental exposure. The Shakopee team is even working on a “Target Zero Dust” project for equipment designs that will reduce dust and improve control of the product in the application and planting process. But as seed treatment equipment evolves, so does the need for proper training. “We now have dedicated facilities to both demonstrate and train with respect to our innovative equipment,” says Herold. But he and his colleagues know that not everyone wanting cutting-edge equipment can come to Minnesota for training, so Bayer has solutions to bring the necessary knowledge to the field.
For example, Bayer’s On Demand technology greatly enhances traditional seed treatment by improving accuracy and efficiency. These fully closed and automated systems are available either as an integrated unit or an “add-on” to current drum treaters, which is why Bayer works with distributor partners to provide on-site installation, training, and service. And during the growing season, customers using On Demand equipment at registered locations can call a 24-hour hotline, so nothing gets in the way of a great crop. This is just another way Bayer makes sure you have got the right tool for the job – and that you will make the most of it.
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