Bayer Crop Science
In mid-2019, a year after German conglomerate Bayer Group closed its acquisition of U.S.-based seeds giant Monsanto, the leadership of Bayer's Crop Science division (which absorbed Monsanto) is reflecting on the opportunities ahead. Some observers have questioned Bayer's decision to buy Monsanto, citing potential reputational and financial liabilities; in the last year, Bayer's stock price has suffered. However, the leadership team expects the combination of Monsanto's and Bayer Crop Science's seed, crop protection, and digital agriculture technologies and expertise to deliver huge value to farmers and shareholders. A key focus is The Climate Corporation, Monsanto's (and now Bayer's) digital agriculture unit, which collects data from farmer-customers' operations and uses it to provide tailored farming advice and to inform internal research and development. Bayer Crop Science is digitizing its entire R&D operation in order to fast-track innovation, with the goal of producing the game-changing products needed to feed the growing global population while protecting the environment. The Bayer team aspires to lead the digital transformation of agriculture. Is this achievable, and is Bayer the right firm to lead it? Will farmer distrust, competition, merger-related challenges, or other hurdles prove insurmountable?