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Bayer bringing along new herbicide portfolio

Agriculture.com Staff 10/16/2007 @ 3:32pm

With what company officials say will be the first new mode of action in the crop herbicide marketplace in two decades, leaders of Bayer CropScience AG introduced Laudis herbicide to a group of crop consultants, advisers and retailers recently at the company's headquarters in Levekusen, Germany.

Bayer officials say they hope the development and introduction of Laudis will culminate in the new chemical gaining approval for use in the U.S. by the end of October.

Laudis is Bayer's new post-emerge corn herbicide company officials say is effective against both grass and broadleaf weeds, including those with resistance to glyphosate, ALS and dicambia. The new chemical also includes a safener, which works to prevent crop damage even under higher chemical application rates.

"It's going into a crowded market in corn, but we're excited about it," says Bayer corn herbicide portfolio manager Rob Schrick. "It takes control to a new level."

Schrick says the "power" in Laudis derived from the compound tembotrione is a "unique structure" that, when applied in a two-pass system along with atrazine, provides control over broadleaf and grass weeds. He adds, however, that Laudis works well alone in a single-pass system.

"Laudis is a strong product. But, we will recommend atrazine to get that syngergistic effect, even though it's not necessary in nine out of 10 cases," Schrick adds.

Extensive testing, Schrick says, shows this control does not come at the expense of crop safety. "We have 100-plus hybrids tested over the last five years with no crop damage," Schrick says. "We are very satisfied with the crop safety of Laudis."

Laudis isn't the final stop in new product development trail for Bayer, as company officials say a trio of new chemistries is in the works, with each one touching a different segment of the marketplace. The ultimate outcome will be a portfolio that will build on Bayer's current Liberty brand, says Bayer corn herbicides marketing manager Jeff Springsteen.

"We will continue to offer Liberty. it's the face we're building this all on," Springsteen says. "There will be no gaps. Whether you apply pre- or post-, you will have a full portfolio."

This full portfolio will comprise, in part, three new chemicals under development that Springsteen says will be brought to the marketplace in the next two years. First, a new broadleaf and post-emergence chemical, now labeled "product CA," will combine today's Laudis with sulfonylurea.

Secondly, a pre-emerge herbicide, today known within the company as "product CO" will also debut in 2009. Springsteen says this chemical will provide early burndown and residual grass and broadleaf control, though it can be applied up to the V2 growth stage. Springsteen adds this chemical will work well at lower rates than what's optimally recommended.

"Today, people are looking at using one-half, two-thirds or one-third rates," he says. "With this product, we're going to support that. We understand people will use a lower rate and come in later with Roundup. We're embracing that."

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