Miami, January 19, 2010 – Experts from universities, industry and Bayer CropScience attended the first Pan American Weed Conference to share concepts and innovative herbicide technologies from January 19 – 21 in Miami. The Pan American Weed Resistance Conference brought together some 200 scientists, universities and research institutions and practitioners from North and South America to exchange experiences in dealing with weed resistance and the propagation of practical and sustainable solutions.
Innovative solutions were presented at this unique international conference that offer farmers effective and sustainable ways of controlling weeds in many major crops. Solutions include new technologies from Bayer CropScience that are designed to combat growing resistance to products such as glyphosate and the danger of herbicide-resistant weed biotypes spreading. The main crops affected in the Americas – from Canada to Chile – which are economically include cotton, wheat, soybeans and corn.
Bayer CropScience is one of the world’s leading innovative companies in the agricultural industry and number three in the global herbicides market. To strengthen its basis for future growth the company plans to further expand its research activities by increasing its annual R&D spending to about EUR 750 million in the medium term.
Innovative approaches to controlling weeds are urgently needed in view of the growing global problem of resistance. “Bayer CropScience has identified new challenges in resistance management and is increasing its investment in research and development,” said Dr. Rüdiger Scheitza, Member of the Board of Management of Bayer CropScience AG and responsible for Global Portfolio Management, when he welcomed delegates to the conference. “All our research activities take a comprehensive and future-oriented approach, and our aim is to provide farmers all over the world with new diagnostic tests, herbicides with new modes of action, and a wider choice of high-performing traits.”
Another important element in the company’s weed resistance management strategy is the outlicensing of in-house developed traits. This gives other companies access to technologies developed by Bayer CropScience. Four long-term licensing agreements concluded with high-profile partners between 2007 and 2009 represent a cumulative business potential in excess of EUR 500 million. They underline the company’s leading role as an integrated supplier of innovative solutions, and equip it to respond in the future to shifts in added value in individual crops between the components “chemical crop protection”, “seeds” and “traits.”
“As a research-based agrochemical, seed and trait company, Bayer CropScience is committed to not only delivering innovative solutions, but also to fostering dialogue around key issues impacting our industry,” said Bill Buckner, President and CEO of Bayer CropScience LP. “We are pleased to host this type of forum for these industry experts in the U.S. -- building upon the success of similar forums held in Europe.”
Glufosinate-ammonium controls more than 120 different weeds
Glufosinate ammonium, a herbicidal active ingredient marketed by Bayer CropScience under the brand names Liberty® and Ignite®, is effective against more than 120 different broad-leaved weeds and grass weeds. Field trials have shown that products based on this active ingredient can also be used to successfully control difficult weeds which are resistant to glyphosate and ALS inhibitors. This offers farmers the advantage of being able to alternate between various non-selective herbicides on LibertyLink® crops, thus preventing the further spread of resistance. This form of rotation is an important element in Integrated Weed Management (IWM), a program conceived by Bayer CropScience. This approach extends the useful life of active ingredients and herbicide-tolerant technologies. None of the studies published to date points to the existence of resistance to glufosinate ammonium in soybeans and corn.
LibertyLink® technology – the only alternative to glyphosate
LibertyLink® technology is marketed for effective weed control. Combining the herbicide tolerance developed by Bayer CropScience and the active ingredient glufosinate-ammonium, this technology is an important component of successful resistance management and currently the only marketed alternative to glyphosate-tolerant systems. It is used on cotton, canola, soybeans and corn. However, increasing weed resistance is making LibertyLink® technology an interesting option for other crops such as cereals and rice as well.
Bayer CropScience is planning to bring its first dual herbicide tolerance trait, known as a “double stack”, in cotton to market in 2010. The modified seed is tolerant of both the active ingredient glufosinate-ammonium and the competing product glyphosate.
The company is also working with collaboration partners Mertec and M.S. Technologies to develop further herbicide tolerance traits in soybeans in the USA. These will include a “triple stack”, a combination of traits conferring tolerance to herbicides based on glufosinate ammonium and glyphosate plus tolerance to a third class of active ingredients known as HPPD inhibitors. This class of products includes, for example, Balance® Pro from Bayer CropScience, a herbicide used on corn in the USA. Rollout in soybeans is planned for 2015.
About Bayer CropScience
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience AG, a subsidiary of Bayer AG with annual sales of about EUR 6.4 billion (2008), is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and traits. The company offers an outstanding range of products and extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture and for non-agricultural applications. Bayer Crop¬Science has a global workforce of about 18,000 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at: www.press.bayercropscience.com.