Space Startup Planetary Resources to Sell Its Satellite Tech to Bayer for Future Farming

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Planetary Resources

Planetary Resources, an aerospace technology company that creates imaging satellites, made public an agreement to work with Bayer’s Digital Farming Initiative today.

The Redmond, Washington-based company announced it will provide Bayer AG (the Germany-based multinational that makes products like Aspirin, Coppertone, and Dr. Scholls shoe inserts) with detailed farming information like how much water farm soil can hold, planting date recommendations, and weekly practical insights on potential problem areas in the field.

The press release doesn’t go into much detail other than saying the agreement is “about the development of applications and products based on satellite images. Bayer intends to purchase these data from Planetary Resources to create new agricultural products and improve existing ones.”

“The sensors from Planetary Resources can become a powerful tool that can provide a new level of information on crops anywhere in the world,” says Liam Condon, head of the Crop Science Division at Bayer AG. “The combination of Bayer’s scientific and agronomy expertise and Planetary Resources’s unique sensor capability will greatly improve our ability to deliver truly practical intelligence to growers anywhere on the planet.”

Bayer, a major player in global agriculture, put in an offer to purchase controversial agriculture company Monsanto on May 23.

Last week, Planetary Resources scrapped a Kickstarter project “ARKYD: A Space Telescope for Everyone,” after it failed to receive funding beyond its initial Kickstarter goal.

“When we closed the campaign in June of 2013, we were confident that the tremendous enthusiasm from around the world would translate into continued financial support outside of the Kickstarter community to move our idea forward,” CEO and president Chris Lewicki wrote on the Kickstarter announcement. “But, what we discovered was unfortunate. Aside from all the progress we made in the underlying technology, the follow-on interest from the business and educational sectors to expand the Arkyd campaign into a fully-supported mission did not exist as we had anticipated.”

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