BASF on Wednesday announced new investments planned for the next two years, including upgrades to U.S. facilities and the launch of more than 20 new products.
Facility investments totaling more than $270 million will expand production capacity for key herbicides dicamba and DMTA at the Beaumont, Texas, site as well as upgrade production at the Hannibal, Missouri, site, BASF says.
With capacities expected to be on line in 2016-2017, the expansions will meet demand for BASF's herbicide portfolio, the company said. BASF is evaluating additional investments for 2014 through 2018 to increase production of its crop protection products worldwide.
The infrastructure investments coincide with the planned launch of more than 20 ag products from BASF's R&D pipeline in North America, highlighted by an advanced dicamba formulation, Engenia.
Starting in 2015, BASF says Engenia will help growers to control resistant weeds in row crops and also serve as a key component of dicamba/glyphosate-tolerant cropping systems.
Additional innovations include the miticides Nealta for specialty crops and Sultan for turf and ornamentals.
From Functional Crop Care's R&D platform, BASF will provide from 2015 onwards a new family of seed coating products based on Xemium fungicide as well as Limus urease inhibitor. Limus provides optimal nitrogen availability during crops' critical growth stages and also contributes to better environmental outcomes by helping to reduce nitrogen losses in the field, BASF says.
Plant science shows results
In the area of plant biotechnology, BASF Plant Science is moving ahead with several projects. These include Monsanto's 2013 launch of Genuity DroughtGard Hybrids, a drought-tolerant corn variety developed in collaboration with Monsanto.
BASF is also initiating the first field trials for its fungal resistance project, which is designed to address stalk rot in corn through innovative trait technology.
Innovation specialist expansion
Since 2010, BASF has expanded its in-field staff by 150 experts in North America, highlighted by the Innovation Specialist advisory program initiated in 2012. Innovation Specialists provide direct agronomic and decision support for the newest technologies available from BASF.
Currently, BASF employees work directly with more than 30,000 growers and 11,000 retail partners in North America, covering 84 million acres of agricultural production in the region.
"Supporting our customers is our number one priority, and we continually collaborate with them to address the issues that matter most," said Nevin McDougall, Senior Vice President, BASF Crop Protection North America. "That means helping growers and retail customers improve output, care for their natural resources and support their local communities."
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