A Decade of Innovation

Bayer-RTP 012

Jim Blome, president and CEO for Bayer CropScience and head of Crop Protection for the North American region.

BLAMS. It’s not a sound effect from the pages of a super hero comic book. Instead this nifty acronym is used by Bayer CropScience to describe some of the company’s latest crop protection products.

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The B is for Belt, flubendiamide, an insecticide available for use on more than 170 crops. L stands for Luna, a fungicide that comes in three formulations to protect a variety of fruit, nut and vegetable crops. A represents Alion, indaziflam, a herbicide designed to provide pre-emergent control of a broad range of grass and broadleaf weeds. M is for Movento, spirotetramat, a foliar insecticide that helps control sucking pests. And S stands for Sivanto, flupyradifurone, which is used to protect crops from neonicotinoid-resistant aphids and whiteflies.

Sivanto received registration in the United States earlier this year. Registration for other parts of the world are expected later this year and next year.

“It’s fairly unique in that most insecticides are used before bloom,” said Jim Blome, president and CEO for Bayer CropScience and head of Crop Protection for the North American region at an interview at the company’s Research Triangle Park, N.C. headquarters. “This can safely be used full season.”

Growers need more than efficacy from their pesticide solutions. It must work for them in other ways as well, explains Kurt Boudonck, Group Leader Trait Testing.

“It’s meeting many needs in the marketplace — one of them is application flexibility,” Boudonck says. “Growers are putting a lot more scrutiny to when they spray, to make sure they’re spraying at the appropriate time, to make sure we’re not harming beneficials, and making sure growers’ dollars are invested as best they can to get the best return.”

In addition to that quintet of products, Bayer CropScience has recently registered or will soon register a number of new products for the 2015 and future growing seasons.

ILeVO fluopyram, is the first registered seed treatment designed to deal with Sudden Death Syndrome in soybeans. “We’re very excited about that,” Blome says. SDS is found in all the major soybean-growing regions.

“With ILeVO, we’re bringing something that is unique to the industry for soybean growers,” says Jennifer Riggs, Product Development Manager for Seed Growth. “We’re bringing a product that acts as both a fungicide and a nematicide together. If anyone told me I’d be working on a compound that had both fungicidal and nematicidal activity, I would have said, ‘naaah.’”

ILeVO is able to significantly reduce the early season infection of the fungus that causes SDS. The fungus cannot be eradicated, but using ILeVO can, under most situations, produce a two- to 10-bushel yield increase, Riggs says.
ILeVO isn’t the only product Bayer has to combat nematodes.

Velum Total, which received its registration in February, offers widespread, long-lasting control of nematodes and early-season insect pests in cotton and peanuts, Blome says.
Velum Total is a combination of the active ingredient that’s in ILeVO, which is called fluopyram with imidacloprid, Riggs says. “It’s for the cotton market and in furrow market. That’s being launched right now for both insect and nematode protection.”

DiFlexx, a broadleaf corn herbicide, is a combination of dicamba and Crop Safety Innovation (CSI) Safener technology. The CSI helps the corn plants better withstand herbicidal activity.

Credenz is a new global soybean brand. “We’ve got a lot of products, a lot of brands, but we had to bring focus to our testing program,” Boudonck says. “We looked at our portfolio, and we looked at the marketplace. We asked, ‘What are the needs of the marketplace and how does our technology align with that?’ It boiled down to our key brands, those brands that are differentiated, those that are patented and those that best meet the needs of the grower.”
Just like the company has done for the past decade, Bayer has led the market with new innovations, Blome says. “We’re introducing five (crop protection products) this year, which is unique. Between 2015 and 2022, we’re looking for 30 new grower innovations to be launched from our established pipeline.”

“Bayer’s not just bringing new pesticides to the market from the seed growth point of view,” Riggs says. “We’re bringing other opportunities. Work is underway looking at new products – crop efficiency products that help.”
The goal is to enhance what goes on underground, in the root systems, because that is so important to plant heath, Riggs says.

“We’re looking at bringing a healthier plant earlier in the season to help with drought tolerance, better nutrient uptake, and so there’s an extensive study going on where we’re looking at hundreds, thousands of different biological products that are being screened to understand the value in the crop efficiency area,” Riggs says.