Preceon cases from Mexico and the USA.

Mexico: VITALA and the inspiration for Preceon®

The story of Preceon in Mexico started with a team of researchers who studied plant architecture to determine how to increase corn production without increasing the acreages.

After a development journey of nearly three decades, they successfully created a system comprising three elements:

  • hybrids that grow up to a meter shorter than traditional tall corn
  • tailored agronomic practices (such as sowing in closer rows)
  • precision tools for managing and monitoring the crop.

This was the first ever example of a Smart Corn System. Known then as VITALA, it gave us a real-world model that we could replicate and localize all over the world.

Trials of the system began in 2016 building to a commercial launch in 2020. Participating farmers reported benefits including more plants per hectare, better soil moisture preservation, increased resistance against winds, improved use of inputs, and better fertilizer management. At the same time, they wanted to see even more innovations and tools integrated into the system, to further optimize ease of use and enable better results.

Man standing in corn field with plant in his hand

USA: Co-creation with Groundbreakers

Inspired by the trials of the system in Mexico, Bayer teams in the USA worked to define their own powerful system, combining hybrids, digital technologies and tailored support. That system was unveiled to the market as the Preceon Smart Corn System in March 2023.

In the US, the system is being summed up with three easy-to-remember benefits, under the acronym P.A.Y.:

  • Protection: consistent reduction in losses due to increased lodging and greensnap tolerance
  • Access: Long-lasting field access to enable more timely and precise crop protection and fertilizer application
  • Yield: The system drives high yield potential and high grower expectations.

That yield potential can be optimized even further by optimizing inputs, seeding densities, field placement and agronomic practices, using digital solutions. All this is in the pipeline for Preceon in the US to turn it into a game-changer.

Just like in Europe, the Preceon Smart Corn System is now undergoing dedicated in-field testing in the US, in close collaboration with selected early-adopter farmers. Here, 280 growers are adopting the Preceon Smart Corn System over approximately 30,000 acres – alongside ‘control’ sections of field grown using tall hybrids and practices.

They will observe the differences in growth, performance and yield between the two, and will also report back on their experiences, in a continuous and holistic manner. This is about verifying the system’s benefits and making sure it delivers on all its promises – but it’s also about benefiting our Groundbreakers now.