BASF opened its expanded production facility for dicamba in Beaumont, Texas this week, marking the company’s largest investment in the ag space to date.
Dicamba is the active ingredient in BASF’s newest herbicide product Engenia, which was granted approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in December 2016. The expansion supports the company’s strategy to increase the production volumes of dicamba, ensuring growers have access to the latest technologies for better weed management programs. For the expansion, BASF invested more than $270 million, making it BASF’s largest investment ever in facilities for agricultural products.
“We are proud of our world-scale production facilities in Beaumont and of our continous effort to develop and improve important products,” said Markus Heldt, President of BASF’s Crop Protection divison. “The expansion is a reflection of our commitment to North America and to driving strategic investments to match our customers’ expectations.” BASF has more than 50 years of technical expertise with dicamba and continues to advance the molecule’s performance, effectiveness and on-target application. “With this expansion, we could increase our dicamba output by more than 50%,” added Heldt. Currently, BASF supplies more than half of the global dicamba supply.
Engenia features a completely new formulated dicamba molecule, known as BAPMA salt, which is designed specifically for dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton. “With the successful launch of Engenia, we are responding to our customers’ needs for simple and reliable herbicide solutions. We are growing our herbicide family with the most technologically advanced formulations to offer farmers flexible and effective weed control. Growers can expect further dicamba offers coming from us, including new mixtures and modes of action,” said Paul Rea, Senior Vice President, Crop Protection, BASF North America.
More than $370 million have been invested in the last five years to expand the overall manufacturing capability in Beaumont. “In addition to the Beaumont site investments, BASF has also invested more than $290 million in eight other agricultural products facilities along with facilities that support our agricultural business across North America. Overall, these investments highlight BASF’s commitment to economic development in the communities and regions we serve,” concluded Rea.
The launch of Engenia in the United States kicks off the global introduction of the product. In the near future, markets in Latin America will also be offering the new herbicide solution.