While BASF does not have a direct pipeline to producers, it continues to collaborate with germplasm providers in the U.S. to bring stress and yield traits to market.

“Our U.S. business model is to be a trait technology partner,” says Jonathan Bryant, vice president, BASF plant science. “We find the next generation of technologies that we can bring forward. And we believe that the focus will be on yield and stress traits. That’s the biggest opportunity.” Those traits include N use and drought tolerance, which are part of a research collaboration with Monsanto.

Another area getting attention at BASF is output-based traits that improve grain quality. “We’ve invested in improving corn’s nutritional value for more than 10 years,” Bryant says. “And we work a lot with end users who tell us that while we are seeing very high grain prices, the quality has decreased over time.”