By Carrie Muehling
KANSAS CITY – BASF Corporation has launched 22 new products over the last three years.
“It’s been really an exciting time to expand our portfolio, but also, more importantly, to provide growers with solutions that are going to help them increase their yields far more efficiently and increase risk,” said Paul Rea, vice president of crop protection in the U.S. for BASF.
The company also just launched a new website for growers where they can gather information about products and weed control strategies. The site includes videos from weed control scientists and profiles about solutions. It also offers maps where growers can get to a localized area to look at performance pictures and get recommendations based on the crops they grow and weeds they have.
“A grower can combine these and customize these for a comprehensive weed management plan for their farm, make sure they keep their fields clean and maximize their yields,” said Dan Westberg, technical market manager for herbicides with BASF Corporation.
Westberg pointed to waterhemp as a growing problem in Illinois.
“If you’ve got waterhemp that’s already a real problem, you’re really going to have to manage that intensively across multiple years to get that weed knocked out of your fields,” said Westberg.
His core message is diversity. Not only using multiple sites of action, but also having a diverse crop rotation and utilizing tillage when possible and where it’s needed.
“To this date, I’m not aware of a resistance to good, cold steel, so that could be part of the system, as well,” said Westberg.
Right now waterhemp will be the weed of most concern in Central Illinois, but Westberg said Palmer amaranth is coming.
“Palmer amaranth is like waterhemp on steroids. So, really what’s critical there is having a strong, residual product to control up front,” said Westberg.
BASF is also working to keep consumers engaged and informed on modern agricultural practices. The company recently conducted a survey looking at where farmers and consumers agree. They found that both groups agree it is possible to increase production and meet the expectations the world has in terms of growing demand for food, fuel and fiber. In addition, technology, knowledge and sustainable practices all rank highly with growers and consumers to unlock that puzzle.
BASF spends $2 million each day to research and develop the latest agricultural technologies, paying close attention to grower needs. Farmers are telling the company they need to increase yield, manage risk more effectively and farm more efficiently.
“Growers want to cover more acres more quickly, more effectively than ever before because their operations are becoming more complex,” said Rea.
Rea believes agriculture is positioned well for the future as the demand for products across the economy is unparalleled.
Rea and Westberg participated in Trade Talk at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting Convention in Kansas City in November.
Carrie Muehling can be reached at email@example.com.