BASF: The Challenge Ahead

In the grand scheme of the nation’s economic health, there’s little denying agriculture’s impact. In fact, according to Paul Rea, director of U.S. crop business for BASF Crop Protection, it’s doubtful the world’s population — which has doubled in 40 years to more than 6 billion — could be sustained without the efforts of U.S. growers.

“Ag exports from America in the 1920s totaled $1.9 billion,” said Rea, speaking at a recent BASF event in Grapevine, TX. “Today, that number is $100 billion. In the 1920s, one U.S. grower fed 20 people besides his family. Today, that number is 143.”

Despite this importance, however, U.S. agriculture often finds itself playing the role of “bad guy” for various special interest groups. “In the 1920s, 25% of the nation’s population was involved in farming,” said Rea. “Today, that number is only 2%. As a result, the public perception of agriculture has been on the wrong side of many media reports. And that’s not good. The general population doesn’t understand what we are trying to achieve. Our challenge ahead is to educate everyone on what we do right.”

At BASF, part of the way the company is planning to do this is by helping increase the number of crop protection products growers and ag retailers can utilize to grow their productivity. “Today’s ag industry is operating with an old and shallow toolbox,” said Tom Holt, manager of biology. “Oftentimes, the tools in that toolbox are marginalized by the weed resistance now seen in species like marestail. When we lose products in this way, it is very difficult to get some new products into that toolbox.”

Adding Tools

Not to say that BASF hasn’t tried to do so. A few years ago, the company launched Headline fungicide. According to Nick Fassler, technical market manager for BASF, Headline has been tested on more than 6,000 on-farm fields of corn, soybeans, and wheat, with research showing use of the product can improve plant health and yield potential. “In 2009, 11 million acres of corn were treated with Headline, which represented 12% of the market total,” said Fassler. “Ac­cording to our research, the use of Headline added 330 million bushels of corn to the nation’s harvest.” He added that the company expects Headline usage on the total corn crop to grow to 24% in the coming years.

For 2010, BASF has expanded the Headline brand with a new product — Headline AMP. Combined with metconazole, Headline AMP can be used to help battle a number of corn foliar diseases, including anthracnose, grey leaf spot, and Southern corn rust. “In trials, Headline AMP provided upwards of an 8 bushels per acre yield increase compared with other products,” said Fassler.

Another new product from BASF is Kixor. According to Dr. Dan Westberg, technical marketing manager, the company has been working with Kixor’s active ingredient pyrimidinedione for more than 10 years. “Kixor technology can be used to control more than 70 broadleaf varieties, including those that are resistant to ALS, triazole, and glyphosate,” said Westberg.

By adding these products — and with another 28 in the company’s research pipeline between now and 2013 — Rea is confident BASF will continue to help agriculture reclaim its positive image. “Growers are some of the best environmental stewards around,” he said. “They know how to make sustainability work and we are hopefully giving them more tools to accomplish this goal.”

Leave a Reply

Fungicides Stories

FungicidesSudden Death Syndrome, Brown Stem Rot Reported In Indiana Soybeans
September 3, 2014
Farmers and retailers should be watching for symptoms of these two diseases over the next few weeks as they are best managed through preventative methods. Read More
FungicidesResearchers Target Soybean Disease With Genetic Resistance Study
August 6, 2014
University of Illinois researchers will share new information on controlling sudden death syndrome through genetic resistance at this year's Agronomy Day. Read More
Soybean field
FungicidesValent Launches New Seed Protection Fungicide For Soybeans
July 16, 2014
The INTEGO SUITE System contains the first new, novel seed protection fungicide chemistry registered in 30 years by the EPA for protection against Pythium and Phytophthora. Read More
FungicidesNew Players May Make Pest Headlines In Corn, Soybean
April 1, 2014
The usual insects and diseases took a bit of a break in 2013, but other culprits surfaced — and could return. Read More

Trending Articles

Crop InputsPlatform Specialty Products To Acquire Arysta LifeScience
October 20, 2014
Once the acquisition is complete, Platform Specialty Products will combine Arysta LifeScience with previously acquired companies Agriphar and Chemtura Crop Solutions. Read More
Seed/BiotechMonsanto Offers New Support For Ferguson, Area Communities
October 8, 2014
Monsanto Co. has committed $1 million in new support for several collaborative efforts in Ferguson, MO, and surrounding communities in North St. Louis County. Read More
Seed/BiotechUnapproved Genetically Modified Wheat Found In Montana
October 3, 2014
USDA reports that one year after discovery of Monsanto's unapproved wheat in a single Oregon field disrupted U.S. wheat export sales, the GMO wheat has again been found in Montana. Read More
Equipment2014 Product Of The Year Voting
September 19, 2014
The deadline to vote for the 2014 CropLife IRON Product of the Year is October 31. Please cast your vote today to help us determine the winner. Read More
FertilizerFall Fertility 2014: Forecasting Fertilizer Use
September 7, 2014
Great crops this year have tapped the soil, and fall work is definitely called for, but how challenging will that get? Read More
CropLife 100CHS To Build $3 Billion Fertilizer Plant In North Dakota
September 5, 2014
The fertilizer plant in Spiritwood will be the single largest investment in CHS history, as well as the single largest private investment project ever undertaken in North Dakota. Read More

Latest News

StewardshipResponsibleAg Begins Auditor Training
October 31, 2014
ResponsibleAg auditor training is now underway at the Ford B. West Center for Responsible Agriculture in Owensboro, KY. Read More
CropLife 100ValueAct Buys Stake In Fertilizer Dealer Agrium
October 30, 2014
ValueAct has bought 8.2 million shares in Calgary, Alberta-based Agrium, making them the second largest investor in the fertilizer dealer. Read More
InsecticidesNew Research Study Shows The Value Of Neonics
October 29, 2014
The study evaluated seed treatment, soil and foliar uses of neonicotinoid insecticides in the U.S. and Canada. Read More
StewardshipUSDA To Provide $4 Million For Honey Bee Habitat
October 29, 2014
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that more than $4 million in technical and financial assistance will be provided to Read More
Crop InputsValent Launches New Low VOC ProGibb LV Plus Plant Growt…
October 29, 2014
ProGibb LV Plus PGR is a high-potency, liquid gibberellic acid formulation designed to comply with California’s new air quality standards for high volatile organic compound agricultural products. Read More
Crop InputsBayer CropScience Acquires Certain DuPont Crop Protecti…
October 29, 2014
Bayer CropScience and DuPont Crop Protection have signed an agreement for Bayer to purchase certain DuPont Crop Protection Land Management assets in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand. Read More
ManagementWest Central Names New President
October 29, 2014
West Central’s board of directors have announced their unanimous decision to name Milan Kucerak President and CEO-elect following Jeff Stroburg’s retirement at the end of the fiscal year. Read More
InsecticidesValent U.S.A., MGK Form Marketing Agreement
October 24, 2014
Valent has formed an agreement with Minneapolis-based MGK to manage the marketing and sales of MGK’s crop protection line of insect control products within the U.S. beginning April 1, 2015. Read More
StewardshipFlorida’s 4R Advocate Keeps Improving
October 24, 2014
Florida farmer Alan Jones uses the 4R principles of nutrient stewardship as the core of his fertility program, which allows him to maximize production and keep costs in check. Read More
Seed/BiotechMonsanto Named One Of The World’s Best Multinational …
October 23, 2014
Monsanto ranked No. 8 in the world’s largest annual study of workplace excellence that identifies the top 25 best multinational companies in terms of workplace culture. Read More
Crop InputsArysta Hires Former Agri-Chem, CPS Employee For Delta S…
October 23, 2014
New Territory Sales Manager Mark Peel’s primary role will focus on working with growers regarding fungicides in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee. Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Announces Appointments In Plant Food Division
October 22, 2014
GROWMARK, Inc. has announced the three key staff changes in its Plant Food Division. Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Appoints New VP Of Finance And Risk Management
October 22, 2014
Wade Mittelstadt has been named GROWMARK Vice President, Financial and Risk Mangement, effective December 1, 2014. Read More
FungicidesEPA Approves BASF In-Furrow Corn Fungicide
October 22, 2014
Field trials show Xanthion In-furrow fungicide provides more rapid emergence, extended residual control and improved seedling health than untreated crops. Read More
EquipmentAgraScout App Available At No Cost To Universities
October 21, 2014
AgraScout, a fast and easy to use mobile crop scouting app, is now available at no cost to University students, Read More
LegislationNew Farm Bill Program To Provide Relief To Farmers Affe…
October 21, 2014
The USDA has implemented a new Farm Bill initiative that will provide relief to farmers affected by severe weather, including drought. Read More
ManagementGreenfield Scholars Program Aims To Sustain Agronomy Wo…
October 21, 2014
The program encourages talented students to study agronomy, crop and soil sciences while cultivating networks to develop the necessary workforce to sustain the profession. Read More
Paul SchrimpfPrecision Ag: Taking It To The Hill
October 21, 2014
A new coalition took the good news message of precision agriculture to Washington, DC, last month. Read More