Headline News

BASF Researcher

It’s no secret that competing in the crop protection business is tough these days. For several years, market sales have steadily moved from products to seed traits, and competition from post-patent suppliers has intensified. In many cases, this has left the crop protection side of many manufacturer portfolios struggling to maintain positive sales growth.

However, there are still positive stories to tell in the crop protection business. Take BASF, for example. In September, the Limburgerhof, Germany-based company gathered members of the media at its headquarters to report the results of its 2007 sales year, and the news was far from bleak. For the year, BASF crop protection sales increased from 2006, from $2.621 billion to $2.624 billion. Even more promising, said Michael Heinz, president of the agricultural products division, BASF believes this upward trend will continue as overall agricultural market conditions improve.

“Agriculture around the world has accelerated in recent months,” said Heinz. “More and more farmland is needed to grow crops for energy conversion. Prices for some of the most important agricultural products have risen sharply. This in turn has increased the readiness of growers to invest in crop protection products.”

No Short-Term Trend

“We don’t see this development as a flash in the pan, but rather as the start of a long-term trend,” he continued. “We thus expect demand for innovative crop protection products to move onto a higher plateau amid continuing higher prices for farm products.”

Of course, the primary sales driver for BASF was the fungicide segment of the business, lead by the success of F500, sold under the tradename Headline in the U.S. BASF fungicide sales increased 10% in 2007, from $965 million to $1.06 billion. In particular, Heinz credited the acceptance of Headline for this growth.

“Perhaps you remember when we were here two years ago, we were then quite cautious in reporting that our active ingredient F500 also had a favorable effect on the health and vitality of plants in addition to combating harmful fungi,” he said. “This approach has proven to be a hit in the U.S. In corn growing of all places, the commercial crop for which the use of fungicides had heretofore been unthinkable, our fungicide Headline has caught on like wildfire. Growers already use Headline with F500 on more than 7.4 million acres of corn and are raising the yield and quantity of their crops with this investment. In doing so, they are using the favorable physiological effect of F500 on the health of their plants.”

This market success could just be beginning, added Heinz. BASF already has an agreement in place with the Monsanto Co. under which Monsanto’s distribution employees are recommending the use of Headline to U.S. customers for their corn and soybean seed stocks. “This makes us a clear trend-setter,” he said. “We offer the growers an innovative technology, which is fast gaining acceptance with the increasing use of corn and soybeans for the production of biofuels.”

Hopes In The Pipeline

For BASF’s other two crop protection segments — herbicides and insecticides — the news wasn’t as bright. In 2007, herbicide sales dropped 10% to $1.03 billion. Insecticide sales, meanwhile, grew only slightly, up 3% to $535 million. In both instances, said Heinz, the move to seeds with weed and insect resistant traits hurt product sales.

But rather than be discouraged by the performance of these two segments in 2007, Heinz told attendees that BASF is anticipating better news ahead, particularly as the company launches several new active ingredients currently under development in its product pipeline.

“We are currently working on seven new active ingredients and on a new herbicide tolerance project,” he said. “We successfully introduced the corn herbicide topramezone to the market last year. This year, we are working to introduce our rice fungicide orysa­strobin in Japan.”

For the U.S. market, he added, the next big herbicide development from the company could be ready for the 2009/10 growing season. The product will address one of the biggest issues currently facing growers — how to deal with an increasing number of resistant weed species. “Principally in the U.S., weeds are increasingly developing resistance to the universally applied active ingredient glyphosate, and this has now taken on proportions affecting the market,” said Heinz.

BASF’s answer is a product codenamed BAS 800H, which uses what Heinz described as a “unique mode of action” to control troublesome weeds. “BAS 800H has outstanding activity against broadleaf weeds when it comes in direct contact with leaves or through the pretreated soil,” said Heinz. “It can be broadly applied and also combats those problem-causing weeds against which the available alternatives have proven ineffective.”

Heinz said that BASF is planning to submit the proper registration papers to U.S., Canadian, and Australian authorities for BAS 800H in January.

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

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
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

Latest News

StewardshipTFI Recognizes Michigan, Maryland Farms For 4R Stewards…
October 31, 2014
As farming practices increasingly attract interest from the general public, two farmers are ensuring they meet public approval. Read More
Eric SfiligojBig Brother Is Already Watching
October 31, 2014
Opponents to UAVs seem to think they could be used to spy on other people. But spying is already taking place, through the Internet. Read More
StewardshipAsmark Institute’s New Training Center Focused On…
October 31, 2014
The newly dedicated Ford B. West Center for Responsible Agriculture will be used as a national training and education center for professionals in the ag input industry. Read More
StewardshipCTIC Tour Dives Deep Into Everglades
October 31, 2014
The most recent Conservation In Action Tour (CTIC) hit South Florida recently to tour the Everglades Agricultural Area. Read More
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