In this interview, Marcus Birke, Head of Product, AgTech APIs explains how Yara’s Agricultural APIs are making it easier for integration partners and farmers to access Yara’s crop nutrition knowledge and recommendations, so they can farm sustainably.
Could you elaborate on what Yara’s Agricultural APIs mean? How do they work?
Generally speaking, an API is a software intermediary. It’s able to send data back and forth and exchange data between two digital systems. What that means for Yara’s agricultural API is that it allows third party products to access our capabilities, our digital crop nutrition recommendations that we’ve developed over the last few years based on the crop nutrition knowledge that we at Yara have built up over the 118 years of Yara’s existence. The end-users can benefit from the value the tools provide, that they’re already familiar with.
How can this bring value to your integration partners and the famers?
For the partners, it’s an opportunity to complement the digital portfolio with our industry leading and very tailored crop nutrition recommendations. For example, they can speed up the time to market for crop nutrition capabilities, reduce cost and risk, improve customer engagement, and enhance the acquisition strategy with the high-quality solutions we offer.
The API allows farmers to benefit from our crop nutrition knowledge and our recommendations within the tools they’re already using. They can assess field specific and data and science-based crop nutrition insights and recommendations, which in turn helps them to improve their nutrient use efficiency, improve the soil health and increase yield & profitability in a sustainable way, all of this by sticking to the tools that they are familiar with.
What barriers do you see in adoption of these digital solutions? And how can they be overcome?
There are data silos and functional silos in the agtech industry today. No product is managing to be the one stop shop for farmers. We see that there’s a tendency in the industry to work on interoperability: everybody’s creating APIs and using APIs to send data back and forth so that when you’re using a new tool, you don’t have to set up the fields completely from scratch, but you can import this from another tool that you’re using.
With our API, we go one step further, as we offer these capabilities for integration into the tools that farmers are already using, so that you don’t need to send data back and forth to yet another tool. With that we’re trying to help reduce some of the complexity of the agtech industry.
What’s important for the success of any digital agtech tool is local support. It’s not just a one size fits all solution. Farming is complex, it’s different in every country, in every region, sometimes even different from farm to farm. To really be able to support this on a very local level, we need to specialise the recommendations and the insights that are generated to their respective region or locality.
Particularly in South America, how are these digital solutions going to support growers to scale up sustainable and smart farming practices?
South America is very important due the size of its agricultural market. We want to have an impact with our crop nutrition knowledge and help to grow a nature-positive future, and we do this with better nutrient management, which is really our strength. We’re able to give advice on which nutrients the crop needs, at which point in the season, how to supply it in terms of product and quantity, and where to supply it, covering the four R’s of crop nutrition stewardship.
It starts pre-season and continues to support the farmer throughout the whole season with insights on planning, monitoring, adjusting, and the application of the nutrients, so that they can farm more sustainably.
Join Marcus at the World Agri-Tech South America summit and continue the conversation around the importance of providing crop nutrition recommendations.