BASF launch data-driven water stewardship tool

BASF promote wHen2gO, which is a smart tool that connects data to improve water stewardship when applying quinmerac and metazachlor.

BASF wanted to further reduce the potential of actives – the chemical ingredients in crop protection products – unintentionally entering waterways.

“Current guidelines from the voluntary initiative, OSR Herbicides, are reliant on dates. While these are really useful straightforward lines in the sand, they are based on averages and in some years, this has the potential to push growers in a tight window for applications, when other variables – such as wind – may make applications inadvisable. We wanted to improve on the foundations of the initiative and give growers something smarter. The wHen2g0 tool is the result of that work.”

Paul Goddard

Stewardship and Value Chain Manager, BASF

BASF wanted to improve on these guidelines by providing growers with something “smarter”. The result, developed by Agrimetrics, was wHen2gO. First released in August 2019, the smart tool has been updated and improved for the 2020 season.

wHen2gO combines data from Defra, the Met Office, and the Environment Agency to calculate the risk of leaching when applying products containing metazachlor and quinmerac.

To improve user experience, the smart tool is available as a mobile application, with most of the required informed pre-populated. This enables growers to receive field-specific forecasts in under a minute.

wHen2g0 has been positively received by farmers, who in the event of water quality issues are ultimately responsible for evidencing that they are not the cause, or had at least done everything in their power to prevent it.

This sentiment has been echoed by Severn Trent. Water companies are responsible for ensuring water is of a specified quality and mitigation measures in catchment areas – such as wHen2gO – can lead to substantial savings.

“[Mitigation measures] are the most sustainable approach. Not only is it cost-effective but there are wider environmental benefits too. So we’re really supportive of any development, like the wHen2g0 smart tool, that benefits farmers, water companies and the many other stakeholders.”

Emma Abbot

Agricultural Team Member, Severn Trent

Accelerated by The Agri-food Data Marketplace

The most time-consuming part of creating data-driven tools like wHen2gO can be finding and manipulating the data. This process can be made significantly quicker and easier by accessing pre-linked data, such as that available on Agrimetrics Data Marketplace.

“Agrimetrics made the process of developing wHen2gO far simpler. Rather than going to five or six organizations and getting individual data streams from each, Agrimetrics brought all the data together in one place,” concludes Paul Goddard.

The Data Marketplace contains field-level, pre-linked data from suppliers including: Airbus, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), Environment Agency, European Space Agency, Met Office, NASA, Natural England, Rural Payments Agency, and Weather Logistics.

You can view our data catalogue here.

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Agrimetrics combines knowledge of the agri-food sector with data science expertise to support organisations on their data journey.

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