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What’s Coming Down The Pike From BASF

If last
spring’s wet weather worried you about nitrogen (N) losses in your crops, you
may soon be getting a tool from BASF to help curb them.

“Fifty
percent of nitrogen content in fertilizer is lost between application and plant
uptake,” says Jurgen Huff, senior vice president of BASF’s global functional
crop care unit. Huff briefed media at the company’s annual media briefing held
earlier this month in
Limburgerhof,
Germany. “It is not reaching the plant. It is lost. So we
want to address this.”

BASF plans
to launch its LIMUS technology to do this by mid-decade. LIMUS technology aims
to boost efficiency of urea-based fertilizers.

“The
technology we are bringing to market has the effect to increase the stability
and to slow down the decomposition of fertilizer in the soils,” says Huff. “It
slows the ammonia release in the soil. We are seeing a 3% to 5% increase in yield and greatly reduced N losses into the
atmosphere by applying this new technology.”

Other
technologies BASF executives discussed include:

·     

Water management technology.

“It optimizes distribution of water and enables plants to
make better use of water,” says Huff. Up to 50% of water savings in irrigation
costs are possible. We have an aggressive timeline for this to launch this
decade.”

·     

Seed Solutions.

BASF’s acquisition last year of Becker Underwood, an Ames, Iowa, firm,
enabled BASF to increase its seed treatment offerings. One offering include
polymers that coat the seed to accomplish: Polymers that coat seed offer:

·     
Better stability of the coating.

·     
Minimized dust-off of active
ingredients.

·     
Improved plantability and seed flow.

BASF
continues to offer conventional seed treatments like Stamina, a fungicide
applied on wheat and barley. These products will join those obtained in the Becker
Underwood acquisition in what BASF calls a BioStacked treatment. One offering
in this technology includes
Vault HP plus Integral. Company officials
say this product is a multi-component, yield-boosting biological seed treatment
system for soybeans.

BASF officials say the Biostacked
technology offers:

·     
Increased plant vigor.

·     
Drought tolerance.

·     
Higher nutrient uptake.

·     
Improved rooting.

·     
Optimized ability with seed-applied
chemical ingredients.


Biologicals and Nematodes.

BASF is working on biofungicides
and bioinsecticides to complement current chemistry tools. BASF is working on
isolating beneficial soil nematodes that prey on harmful insects. However, executives
say this technology holds more promise in fruits and vegetables than in corn
and soybeans


New dicamba-tolerant
herbicide.

Dicamba-tolerant
soybeans are a joint venture between Monsanto and BASF. Monsanto has developed
the trait that’s part of the Roundup Ready 2 Xtend system. Both Monsanto and
BASF are developing dicamba herbicide formulations that the firms say are lower
in off-target movement potential than current dicamba formulations. BASF’s candidate
in this system is Engenia herbicide.

USDA’s
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced last May that it
is conducting an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for traits that tolerate
growth regulator herbicides like 2,4-D and dicamba.

It’s likely
this technology will hit the market in 2015 or 2016, says

Markus
Heldt, president of BASF’s crop production division.

“We do not
see it (the EIS) as an obstacle for making it to market, but it might be a year
later than initially expected,” he says.

 

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