Amid rising demand for crop commodities, BASF Crop Protection will invest more than $225 million over the next two years to increase its capacity to produce fungicides, insecticides, and herbicides at production facilities in Germany, France, Brazil, and the U.S., according to a Chemical & Engineering News report.
The company anticipates that most of the new capacity will be on-line by 2010 "at the latest" and will include its two main fungicides, F 500 and boscalid; the insecticide fipronil; and the herbicide metazachlor. The expansion is in addition to planned spending for BASF’s new herbicide, Kixor, targeted for release in 2009.
The investments will help BASF, the world’s largest chemical company, take advantage of strong demand for corn, soybeans, wheat, and canola crops, according to the report. Like ag chem competitors Dow and DuPont, BASF has seen its 2008 agriculture revenues and profits soar due to higher volumes and prices.
"Farmers are seeking to capitalize on the high prices for agricultural commodities," says Michael Heinz, president of BASF’s Crop Protection division. "That means getting the most out of every acre of farmland with innovative crop protection products."