BASF's focused approach boosts agricultural innovation by 25 per cent

March 03, 2020 | 10:27
BASF has recently announced an increased projected peak sales potential for its innovation pipeline of agricultural solutions to more than €7.5 billion ($8.35 billion). By 2029, the company will launch more than 30 key projects including novel seeds and traits, chemical and biological crop protection, digital products, and new formulations broadening its offer.
basfs focused approach boosts agricultural innovation by 25 per cent
BASF announced a well-stocked agricultural pipeline with projected peak sales potential of more than $8.35 billion

In line with its strategy in agriculture, the company increases focus on connected solutions for farmers to enable balancing agricultural productivity, environmental protection, and the society’s needs.

BASF will build on its research and development investment for agricultural solutions over recent years with a planned expenditure in 2020 around the prior-year level. In 2019 alone, the company spent €879 million ($979 million)on R&D in the Agricultural Solutions division; representing around 11 per cent of sales for the segment.

“Agriculture is so central to our lives that it has a powerful impact on everyone. That is why we must address the environmental, climate, and societal challenges that are becoming more pressing every day. At BASF, we are open to all great and new ideas that help us drive sustainable innovation in agriculture and create value to society. Our aim is to find practical solutions that enable higher-yielding and more stress-tolerant crop production, reduce farming’s CO2 footprint, and increase biodiversity,” said Vincent Gros, president of BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division. “We have an outstanding innovation pipeline and invest continually to identify and develop products and solutions that benefit both farmers and the environment.”

Sharper focus in R&D projects

BASF’s industry-leading position in sustainable agriculture is based on active R&D portfolio steering and sustainability criteria that are fully integrated into the entire process. “Our new strategy has sharpened our innovation focus around specific agricultural crop systems. We are applying all available scientific technologies to develop sustainable solutions that meet long-term economical, ecological, and societal needs,” said Peter Eckes, president of Bioscience Research at BASF.

Higher yielding and stress-tolerant crops for a lower CO2 footprint

To meet today’s farming challenges, BASF’s innovation pipeline is focused on new technologies and solutions for four strategic customer segments and their respective crop systems.

The company’s R&D innovation strength is demonstrated through strong pipeline projects in the crop system that includes wheat, canola (oilseed rape), and sunflower – addressing a market valued at around €12 billion ($13.37 billion).

In this market, BASF is developing innovative solutions for climate-resilient farming with higher-yielding as well as drought and heat-tolerant crops that require fewer resources such as water and plant protection products. They enable farmers to sustainably increase yields and reduce tillage, thereby minimising erosion and greenhouse gas emissions.

basfs focused approach boosts agricultural innovation by 25 per cent
BASF focuses on innovative solutions that enable balance between agricultural productivity, environmental protection, and society’s needs

For example, with regards to seeds & traits, BASF’s InVigor® pod shatter reduction and clubroot resistant trait technologies for canola will aid in protecting yield potential from clubroot and deliver added flexibility for growers at harvest.

Mid-decade, BASF will be introducing LibertyLink® yellow-seed canola which can be grown under more challenging conditions and will provide new rotation options for wheat growers in drier areas of North America, where drought and heat stress make regular canola a less viable crop.

When it comes to Herbicides, BASF has developed two novel herbicide active ingredients, Luximo® and Tirexor® to ensure that farmers around the world continue to have access to effective weed management.

From 2020, these will give, among others, wheat farmers new possibilities to manage difficult-to-control grasses and broadleaf weeds. Additionally, BASF is working on further new modes of action to manage herbicide-resistant weeds and allow farming practices that reduce CO2 footprint, such as no-till farming.

In addition, BASF recently launched Revysol ®, a fungicide active ingredient that meets the highest regulatory standards and offers outstanding biological performance against a range of difficult-to-control pathogens in specialty and row crops. The novel fungicide active ingredients Pavecto ®, co-developed with Sumitomo Chemical, will provide farmers with a unique tool for resistance management.

Additionally, BASF is developing comprehensive innovation portfolios across the entire crop cycles for the company’s remaining strategic crop systems. This includes eight active ingredients, as well as unique traits and high-performing seeds in soybean, canola, cotton and vegetables.

Digitalisation supports modern agriculture

basfs focused approach boosts agricultural innovation by 25 per cent
BASF takes a lead in digital farming

Growers using BASF’s digital products marketed under the xarvio® Digital Farming Solutions brand can achieve higher yields with fewer natural resources and crop inputs. With BASF’s latest digital outcome-based business model, xarvio® HEALTHY FIELDS, farmers benefit from a transparent field- and season-specific crop protection service, reduced workloads through outsourced spray contractors, real-time monitoring, as well as a success guarantee for their fields.

Xarvio® digital products enable the more precise application of crop protection products, nutrient management, automated buffer zones, and biodiversity monitoring.

For BASF, the potential of its innovation pipeline goes beyond the farm: With the e3® Sustainability Cotton Program, the company helps farmers in the US meet downstream customer demand for more traceable and sustainable supply chains in the fashion industry.

Collaborating with partners down the value chain, e3® cotton – grown with BASF’s Fibermax® and Stoneville® cotton seed – can be traced from the farmer to the retailer and shows end consumers that their clothes have been produced in a fair, economically viable, and environmentally responsible way. BASF is the only company providing this level of traceability. This programme has increased demand for fibre meeting e3® standards, creating a higher market price for the grower.

By Thanh Van

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