Crop stress tolerance, weather and weed control represent biggest challenges to growers

New survey helps BASF identify and address grower management concerns

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, July 26, 2010 – Stress tolerance of crops, unpredictable weather, and residual control of weeds are three of the biggest challenges to grower operations, according to a survey conducted recently by BASF Crop Protection. Findings were released today during the Ag Media Summit in St. Paul, Minnesota.

More than 600 corn, hay, soybean and wheat growers from 44 states participated in the survey, which examined challenges growers face in regard to managing yield, choosing the most effective inputs, and dealing with plant stress factors. It also examined the importance of new crop protection innovations to growers.

“This type of research is an important step in ensuring the BASF product portfolio delivers agronomic benefits, sustainability and grower convenience,” said Gary Fellows, Ph.D., Technical Services Regional Manager for BASF. “Along with the important feedback we continually receive from growers, BASF will be able to use this information to continue our effort to help growers get the most out of every acre.”

The survey uncovered many key findings* including the top concerns of growers when it comes to disease, stress, weeds and new crop protection chemistries. Fifty-four percent of growers indicated that disease pressure is a major concern and 75 percent of growers indicated that stress tolerance of crops is a difficult issue to manage.

“The survey tells us that growers are constantly challenged by disease pressure and stress tolerance, and most of these growers need an effective fungicide to address these challenges,” Fellows said. “In addition to a new family of fungicide products BASF recently submitted for EPA registration, growers can rely on Headline® fungicide and Headline AMP™ fungicide for excellent disease control and Plant Health benefits, including improved stress tolerance from issues like changing weather situations.”

When asked about weed management issues, 57 percent of growers reported residual control of weeds as their most difficult weed challenge and 50 percent reported difficulty when dealing with resistance to glyphosate. Thirty-eight percent of growers also list the flexibility to plant when needed after a herbicide application as another difficult weed management issue.

“Growers are asking for herbicides that help control weeds early and knock out increasingly resistant weeds,” said Mike Hofer, Corn Market Manager for BASF. “The Kixor® herbicide technology family of products was launched last year and provides growers with the performance this survey demonstrates growers need – enhanced residual control and an answer to tough-to-control, resistant weeds. BASF has also addressed growers’ request for added flexibility and will announce a new, expanded use for Kixor later this year.”

About 93 percent of growers indicated that new crop protection chemistries will be important to their business in the next five years as they continue to manage issues related to crop stress, weather and weeds. BASF is poised to expand its portfolio of crop protection products with 28 new products planned for release in the next four years with nine new active ingredients, including herbicide, fungicide and insecticide products.

“BASF is in prime position to help growers with the challenges they conveyed in our research,” Fellows said. “The growing BASF product portfolio will help growers continue to get the most out of every acre.”

*For full survey results, please contact [email protected]