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New Bayer CropScience seed treatments coming

Farmers fighting nematodes will soon have another control tool to use.

Bayer CropScience soon plans to launch Votivo -- a biological nematode control product -- in seed treatment packages with Poncho, Trilex and Aeris.

Bayer officials updated journalists on this product and others at its international press conference held last week in Monheim, Germany.

Votivo is the product Bayer officials referenced earlier this year by the name GB 126. Bayer expects the Poncho Votivo package to be first registered in the United States in the first half of 2010. It will first be available in corn, followed by cotton and soybeans.

In corn, Bayer officials say Votivo will be a competitor to Syngenta's new corn nematicide that’s contained in Avicta Complete Corn. Syngenta plans a full-scale launch for Avicta Complete Corn in 2010.

Other new products Bayer executives discussed includes penflufen. Bayer plans to market this new active ingredient in seed treatment form for corn, cotton, soybean, lentils, cereals (including wheat), canola, potato, rice and sunflower. Bayer anticipates U.S. regulatory approval to occur by 2012. Bayer plans to have a brand name for penflufen in early 2010.

Friedrich Berschauer, chairman of the board of management for Bayer CropScience, notes growth has been driven by new active ingredients like these launched since 2000. In 2008, Bayer CropScience expanded sales by 14% to a record level of 6.4 billion Euros ($9.44 billion). This translated to a 21% growth in profitability.

Earlier this year at a Bayer presentation at Monheim, Berschauer discussed how developing new active ingredients gives it a competitive edge despite pressure by the European Union to reduce agricultural pesticide use.

"There will be some impact, but companies like ours can master the situation much better than others," he says. "Even if old active ingredients disappear, you are in better shape if you have new actives."

Farmers fighting nematodes will soon have another control tool to use.

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