AI boosts Bayer’s fight against resistant weeds

Bayer’s new herbicide, Icafolin, will be launched in Brazil in 2028, marking the company’s first new herbicide in 30 years.


Bayer’s crop science division is leveraging AI to combat herbicide-resistant weeds, aiming to speed up the discovery of new solutions. With traditional herbicides losing effectiveness, Bayer urgently needs innovative approaches to help farmers manage these resilient weeds. The company’s Icafolin product, set to launch in Brazil in 2028, will be its first new mode of action herbicide in three decades.

Frank Terhorst, Bayer’s executive vice president of strategy and sustainability, highlighted that AI significantly enhances the efficiency of finding new herbicides by matching weed protein structures with targeted molecules. This AI-driven process allows for the use of vast amounts of data, making it faster and more reliable.

Bob Reiter, head of research and development at Bayer, noted that AI tools have already tripled the number of new modes of action discovered compared to a decade ago. The mentioned technological advancement promises to shorten the timeline for developing effective herbicides, offering a critical advantage in the ongoing fight against crop-destroying weeds.