BayWa restructures smart farming activities – AGCO Group acquires NEXT Farming software
Software unit of BayWa subsidiary FarmFacts GmbH will become part of AGCO’s digitalisation strategy / BayWa will continue to offer 360-degree smart farming consulting
BayWa AG is refocusing its activities in the area of smart farming. Subject to the approval of the relevant authorities, the software unit NEXT Farming is to be spun off from the BayWa subsidiary FarmFacts GmbH and become part of the digitalisation strategy of the AGCO Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of tractors and agricultural machinery. The move will see AGCO acquire NEXT Farming’s software business outside BayWa’s sales area. 92 employees are set to make the switch from FarmFacts to AGCO. The soil sampling service will be retained by FarmFacts in its capacity as a wholly-owned subsidiary of BayWa AG. The business involving hardware components such as weather stations and sensors will be transferred in full to the BayWa portfolio. Going forward, BayWa’s smart farming activities will focus on consulting, sales, implementation and service. Although NEXT Farming’s software will no longer be developed within the BayWa Group, nothing will change for customers, with BayWa continuing to offer 360-degree smart farming consulting.
“Acquiring FarmFacts in 2015 made us the market leader in smart farming in Germany,” says Marcus Pöllinger, Chief Executive Officer of BayWa AG. “Today, its flagship NEXT Farming manages around 30% of the country’s agricultural land. I am delighted that AGCO will build on this success and invest in the evolution of the software. We will leverage the synergies available to all sides from the sale in order to serve the needs of our smart farming customers even more effectively.”
Agricultural equipment and machine connectivity play a crucial role in the acceptance of agricultural software. The sale of NEXT Farming’s software to AGCO means that the latter will have direct access to the software in the future. AGCO is acquiring NEXT Farming with the goal of offering a suitable cloud solution to improve the performance, productivity and security of this application. BayWa has close ties to AGCO thanks to its long-standing sales partnership with the company’s brands Fendt, Massey Ferguson and Valtra. Through machinery sales, BayWa will therefore continue to benefit from the evolution of NEXT Farming’s software by AGCO.
Time and again, surveys confirm that the vast majority of farmers believe in digitalisation as a way to make their businesses fit for the future. Many of them would also like standardised interfaces and connections between systems. Tractors and machinery play a central role in the digital transformation of agriculture, since they can be found on every farm, and they use and generate data for tools such as the digital acreage index.
“To optimally integrate smart farming into farmers’ businesses, we need a seamless transfer of data between machines out in the field and the office,” says Dr. Marlen Wienert, member of the BayWa AG Board of Management whose responsibilities include the Agriculture | Agricultural Equipment business division. “We have to create a situation where farmers just sit on their tractors and off they go – no matter which brand of tractor they use. The acquisition of the software unit by AGCO, one of the world’s leading machinery manufacturers, underlines how relevant NEXT Farming is for successful smart farming today.”
Thomas Dibbern, managing director of FarmFacts GmbH, adds his take on the transaction: “We are proud to have developed a leading farm management system in the form of NEXT Farming, which will now become a key part of the digitalisation strategy at a market leader like AGCO. I would like to thank all the employees who have continuously enhanced our software solutions and made NEXT Farming the market leader in agricultural software in Germany. Together, we have laid important foundations for the digitalisation of agriculture.”
- FarmFacts GmbH, reprint free of charge: NEXT Farming Pro is the farm management system for professional requirements. Going forward, the software will be part of the digitalisation strategy of the global agricultural equipment manufacturer AGCO. 4.3 MB / JPG Download