Low Volume Herbicide Application. USDA Keith Weller
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 13, 2008. Innovation is the basis for success at BASF today and in the future, according to the presenters at the BASF Media Summit held in Washington, D.C., May 12-14, 2008. From the introduction of breakthrough new products, such as
herbicide, to the expansion of the BASF Plant Health portfolio and development of new formulation technologies, to new traits for yield and stress from BASF’s plant biotechnology company, all are pivotal not only to the company’s profitable growth but also to the advancement of U.S. agriculture in the years ahead.
Dr. Stefan Marcinowski, member of the board of executive directors at BASF, said that global megatrends related to health and nutrition, housing and construction, energy and resources, mobility and communication, underpin the need for innovation and provide the impetus for BASF’s strategy. "Accordingly, our agricultural business received the largest allocation of global R&D expenditures of €1.45 billion, of all BASF businesses in 2008," said Marcinowski.
On the subject of plant biotechnology, Dr. Hans Kast, President and Chief Executive Officer of BASF Plant Science, indicated that the research and development focus for BASF Plant Science is concentrated in three areas – more efficient agriculture, renewable raw materials and healthier nutrition for humans and animals. "BASF Plant Science has a unique technology platform to support our gene discovery work in these areas," said Kast. "It combines phenotypic screening with high throughput metabolic profiling to determine gene function, which has led to a broad and diversified early stage pipeline of lead genes."
"Today, growers seek to maximize productivity on limited land and to minimize their risk in light of rising input costs," said Michael Heinz, President of BASF’s Crop Protection division. "For both, they need innovative solutions. As the division’s business results last year and in the first-quarter of 2008 have shown, our long-term strategy of investing in innovative solutions is paying off," he added. Heinz pointed out that innovation at BASF comes from all facets of the business – from research and development, to new business approaches and value-adding services.
Dr. Peter Eckes, Senior Vice President Global Research and Development for Crop Protection at BASF, stressed that new active ingredients are key to future success and points to Kixor herbicide as a good example. "Such breakthroughs are providing our customers with the tools they need to improve productivity." According to Eckes, BASF Crop Protection research and development is fueled by the company’s extensive corporate research platform. As an example, he highlights new product innovations based on BASF’s best-in-class polymer research. “With new polymer technology we can give existing active ingredients, such as Prowl H2O® herbicide, for example, better performance. The new encapsulated formulation provides targeted release and better efficacy. We are also translating these advances in formulation technologies into new product concepts that will provide new benefits to our customers.”
BASF is also building on the leadership and success of its Plant Health platform with Headline® fungicide. "Headline has clearly established a solid track record in field crops over the last four years with its Plant Health benefits. So much so, that more than 10 million acres of corn and soybeans were treated with an application of Headline in 2007," said Markus Heldt, Group Vice President, North America, BASF Crop Protection. Now, Heldt said, BASF is leveraging the expertise developed with Headline in field crops for the benefit of other sectors such as turf and ornamentals and fruit. He pointed to the Plant Health work currently underway in the organization’s turf and ornamental business and the potential for Plant Health to play a significant role in addressing issues, such as product shelf life and water restrictions for the ornamental plant production and golf course industries respectively.
Also presenting at the BASF Media Summit were Adam Burnhams, BASF Marketing Manager, U.S. Crop Protection, who highlighted innovations such as BASF’s work with Rockford Map Publishers to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of aerial application of products such as Headline through the digitization of plat maps. Paul Rea, Director of Specialty Products at BASF, spoke of new products, including Clearcast herbicide and flexible product packaging for the pest control, vegetation management and turf and ornamentals markets. Jonathan Bryant, Director of North American Business at BASF Plant Science, showcased NutriDense® nutritionally enhanced corn, which provides better rations and improved animal performance in dairy and swine operations.
With sales of €3,137 million in 2007, BASF’s Crop Protection division is a leader in crop protection and a strong partner to the farming industry providing well-established and innovative fungicides, insecticides and herbicides. Farmers use these products and services to improve crop yields and crop quality. Other uses include public health, structural/urban pest control, turf and ornamental plants, vegetation management, and forestry. BASF aims to turn knowledge rapidly into market success. The vision of BASF’s Crop Protection division is to be the world’s leading innovator, optimizing agricultural production, improving nutrition, and thus enhancing the quality of life for a growing world population.
BASF consolidated its plant biotechnology activities in BASF Plant Science in 1998. Today, about 700 employees are working to optimize crops for more efficient agriculture, renewable raw materials and healthier nutrition for humans and animals. Projects include yield increase in staple crops, higher content of Omega-3s in oil crops for preventing cardiovascular diseases, and potatoes with optimized starch composition for industrial use. To find out more about BASF Plant Science, please see our internet web site at: www.basf.com/biotechnology