BASF addresses role of innovation for agricultural sustainability

BASF today presented its crop protection and plant biotechnology pipelines and outlined plans to globalize agricultural research activities as part of its “We create chemistry strategy”.

“BASF has a strong track record of bringing innovative solutions to farmers,” said Markus Heldt, President of BASF’s Crop Protection division. “This steady stream of innovations is driving the division’s success.”

At the press conference, BASF showcased pipeline developments across its many research disciplines. Crop protection highlights included solutions for challenging weed control, such as recently launched herbicides from the Kixor® family as well as EngeniaTM herbicide for Dicamba tolerant crop systems, which is expected to be launched in 2014. Also highlighted were new products from the Xemium® family, BASF’s next generation carboxamide fungicide, and Initium®, BASF’s latest fungicide for the fast-growing specialty crop segment. Furthermore, BASF explained its new research areas for solutions to better manage resources and plant stress.

In the area of plant biotechnology, BASF Plant Science has developed an unparalleled gene discovery platform, which focuses on yield and traits capable of dealing with unfavorable conditions such as drought. Dr. Peter Eckes, President of BASF Plant Science said: “As a ‘Trait Technology Partner’ we join forces with market-leading food and seed companies to bring our products to the market. We provide solutions that deliver ‘more with less’, which will accelerate the sustainable intensification of agriculture.” Commenting on the expansion program at Research Triangle Park, he added, “The decision to establish our global headquarters in North Carolina is driven by our intent to be closer to our main markets and partners.”

Speaking about the globalization of the company’s R&D efforts, Dr. Harald Lauke, President of BASF’s Biological and Effect Systems Research division, said: “Research is not just about lab-based work; it also means developing cross-functional teams to work closely with customers on the ground, in the markets. By 2020, we plan to conduct 50% of all the BASF Group’s research and development activities outside of Europe.”

BASF Crop Protection and Plant Science continue to expand their research footprint in the United States and globally. The company recently announced a $33 million expansion program at Research Triangle Park to strengthen research activities in both divisions.

The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins is covering BASF’s Ag Solutions Media Summit in Chicago and you can follow him on twitter to get the latest and check the audio page for updates from “the windy city”.

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