In order to meet South Africa’s Competition Commission requirements, Bayer has agreed to sell its Liberty crop protection brands. Meanwhile The Climate Corporation, a subsidiary of Monsanto, has announced the acquisition of HydroBio, an agriculture software company based in Denver, Colorado.
According to a statement by Bayer, the company has agreed to sell its Liberty herbicide and LibertyLink-branded seeds businesses to win antitrust approval for its $66 million acquisition of Monsanto. The divestment of the two global brands, that compete with Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer and Roundup Ready seeds, will account for the bulk of asset sales worth about $2.5 billion.
The planned divestitures are also widely expected to be required by competition regulators in the United States and the European Union.
In other news, the HydroBio team will join The Climate Corporation, strengthening the company’s efforts to deliver industry-leading digital technologies to farmers around the world.
“HydroBio has unique irrigation-focused data analytics capabilities, and as global water use for crop production increases, efficient irrigation is becoming even more important to the future of sustainable agriculture,” said Mike Stern, chief executive officer for The Climate Corporation. “HydroBio has built a successful business, and their tools will complement our Climate FieldView digital agriculture platform offerings in the future.”
HydroBio uses a combination of satellite imagery, soil data, and hyper-local weather data to deliver irrigation insights for farmers to help improve crop water-use efficiency and maximize yields. Its unique data-driven irrigation management platform turns satellite images into actionable information, builds custom irrigation prescriptions for optimized water application, and provides crop health monitoring throughout the growing season for enhanced productivity.
“We at HydroBio are very excited to join The Climate Corporation to bring our scalable irrigation management offering to more farmers in the future,” said Barrett Mooney, co-founder and chief executive officer for HydroBio. “We’re looking forward to collaborating with the great team at Climate to enhance the Climate FieldView platform and introduce new, digital tools that transform how technology is used on the farm.”
Prior to this acquisition, Monsanto Growth Ventures (MGV), the venture capital arm of Monsanto Company, saw promise in the developing company and was an early investor in HydroBio, incorporating it into the MGV portfolio that includes a wide-range of independent companies active in key areas of agricultural productivity. This year, Monsanto Europe launched AquaTEK, a commercial irrigation management tool for corn that is powered by HydroBio’s irrigation management platform.