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What is the Preceon® Smart Corn System?

Preceon is the global name for a new Smart Corn System developed and launched by Bayer. It is centered on the game-changing benefits of Short Stature Corn, which grows around a third shorter than the ‘traditional tall corn’ farmers are used to – increasing resistance to lodging, making management easier and more flexible, and potentially enabling higher density and yield.

But it’s not just a new corn technology: it’s a full production system. To enable farmers to get the best from Short Stature Corn, we complement it with a suite of digital solutions, data-driven decision-making, modern and efficient management practices, crop protection innovations, and a partnership approach. A transformative new way of growing corn – one designed to meet the needs of farmers, first and foremost.

How does it achieve that? The Preceon Smart Corn System unleashes the potential of agricultural and digital innovations at every stage of the season, tailored to the farmer’s needs. Ultimately, it can enable higher yields from the same hectares – increasing production without increasing impacts. Exactly what we need to bring about a productive and sustainable future for corn.

What are the elements of the system?

The Preceon Smart Corn System incorporates multiple solutions, all with the same goal: to achieve consistent yield gains compared to traditional tall corn growing systems, without needing to increase inputs.

It includes:

  • Short Stature Corn hybrids that grow on average a third shorter than a tall hybrid, while retaining comparable ear size and frequency
  • Digital insights and support tools giving farmers data-driven recommendations on seed placement and density to maximize performance in the field
  • Innovative crop protection products taking advantage of our newest advances in R&D
  • Agronomic practices to optimize inputs, enabled by our dedicated digital farming platform, FieldView
What does the system mean for farmers?

In their essential role of producing enough food, feed and fuel to meet everyone’s needs, farmers face growing challenges from three sources: nature (pests, weeds, volatile climatic conditions), society (growing populations and sustainability ambitions), and economy (the need to farm profitably for the long term).

The Preceon Smart Corn System helps corn farmers meet these challenges with season-long benefits and assistance. It’s their ‘sidekick’ at every stage, delivering a tailored combination of scientific technologies, digital tools, advice and innovation.

The result? Higher output potential, reduced risk, and optimized inputs. So farmers can protect their investments, achieve yield and revenue gains, and be confident that they are farming sustainably.

What does the system mean for consumers?

As the world’s population grows, we need disruptive innovations to guarantee a secure supply of high-quality, sustainably produced food for everyone. The Preceon Smart Corn System is one such innovation. By enabling higher yields, it catalyzes the flow of corn into the market, and ultimately into the food products we need – and it does so without taking up more land or inputs.

What does the system mean for the environment?

Faced with the urgency of the climate crisis, we cannot just produce more; we also need to produce more sustainably. To do more with less.

That’s what the Preceon Smart Corn System is designed to enable, with new technologies and practices that enable more corn production in the same acreage, without increasing inputs. This is an opportunity to farm productively, precisely and sustainably, at scale.

What does the system mean for overall corn production in EMEA?

The Preceon Smart Corn System is a systemic solution to corn production’s overall challenges, centered on the source of positive in-field change: farmers. By giving farmers access to a holistic system for productive, efficient and reliable corn production, using a full toolbox of scientific and digital technologies, it enables them to get more from each field, make optimal use of resources, and secure long-term resilience for their farms and businesses.

If it is implemented at scale, the Preceon Smart Corn System has the potential to transform corn production and give it a sustainable, productive and equitable future.

Can you summarize the benefits of the Preceon Smart Corn System?

We have verified a number of potential benefits for farmers, including:

  • Yield gain potential: Short Stature Corn hybrids are suitable for planting at higher densities, which the Preceon Smart Corn System aims to optimize with field-specific, digitally-enabled seeding recommendations. This can deliver a consistent yield gain without needing to increase water, fertilizer or crop protection inputs. NOTE: Yield gain applies to late-maturity hybrids in irrigated fields. Mid- and early-maturity hybrids in non-irrigated areas are under development
  • Greater flexibility: Thanks to the corn’s shorter size and slower elongation phase, farmers can enter their corn fields later, and delay crop treatments if needed, enabling them to maximize the efficacy of crop protection and fertilizer applications.
  • Protection from losses to climatic factors: With its thicker stalk, shorter size and deeper root system, Short Stature Corn is up to 10 times more resistant to lodging and greensnap, even under strong wind conditions.
  • Silage benefits: Short Stature Corn’s density is a major advantage for silage growers, because of the incremental increase in dry matter yield. The plant also has incrementally increased content of starch and digestibility.
  • Wider harvest window: The new hybrid has a longer stay-green period and can be harvested 10-15 days later than traditional tall corn. This gives silage growers more flexibility for harvest operations and enables higher silage quality thanks to the longer accumulation of starch combined with higher digestibility.

Overall, the Preceon Smart Corn System is designed to be a more profitable, more reliable, and more sustainable way of growing corn, compared to conventional methods.

What are the physical differences between Short Stature Corn and traditional tall corn?

Short Stature Corn was created through an innovative breeding approach, using a native trait. It has decreased internode length and is around one third shorter overall. It also has a deeper rooting profile, improved stalk strength, and supports higher-density planting.

During growth, the difference between Short Stature Corn and traditional tall corn will start to emerge in the elongation phase (around V6-V7), and be fully apparent at tasseling.Physical differences between Short Stature Corn and traditional tall corn


Do farmers need to buy new equipment to farm Short Stature Corn and take advantage of the Preceon Smart Corn System?

No – the system can work with existing equipment. Modern planter machinery with electric transmission will be perfectly able to plant Short Stature Corn within the Preceon Smart Corn System, and ear height is compatible with standard harvesters. In fact, the system could even enable growers to use their equipment more strategically and precisely throughout the growing season, thanks to its access advantages.

When will the Preceon Smart Corn System will be available?

The Preceon Smart Corn System will undergo a phased launch in EMEA, starting with southern Europe in 2025 and then central, north and eastern Europe in 2027-30.

This is part of a global launch schedule that also includes USA (2024), LATAM (2026-2029), APAC (2027-2030) and Africa (mid-2030s).

Our vision is for a global solution that all corn-growing countries have access to, supported by a global testing approach to enable us to tailor the system to farmers in each territory and deliver more value to customers through expertise and data science.

What does the roadmap to launch in EMEA look like?

Ahead of the first EMEA launch in southern Europe in 2025, the Preceon Smart Corn System is undergoing dedicated testing with a select group of early-adopter farmers, who we refer to as Groundbreakers. Their experiences and feedback will be crucial as we refine the system with a co-creative mindset. This will lead into a phased commercial launch across different territories.

EMEA Groundbreakers testing currently involves more than 60 growers in Spain and Italy, testing the system alongside control fields planted with traditional tall corn. The scheme will continue and expand in 2024.

Groundbreakers activity is as part of a wide technical testing and development operation that ensures we are delivering the right combination of hybrids, crop protection innovations, digitally-enabled recommendations and tailored support to the farmers.