“Innovation as the Path to Sustainability” was the theme of the 2012 BASF Agricultural Solutions Summit last week in Chicago where the company’s top executives presented the latest crop protection and plant biotechnology strategies aimed toward sustainable food production for a growing population.
Markus Heldt, President of BASF’s Crop Protection division, released initial results of the new AgBalance study launched in 2011 as a method for measuring sustainability in agriculture. “We performed a case study on corn production in Iowa comparing 2000 and 2010,” said Heldt. “We’ve seen an improved sustainability index of 42%.”
Listen to my interview with Markus here: BASF Crop Protection President Markus Heldt interview
Listen to Markus’ presentation here: BASF Crop Protection President Markus Heldt presentation
In the area of plant biotechnology, Dr. Peter Eckes, President of BASF Plant Science, discussed the company’s gene discovery platform and joining forces with companies like Monsanto to bring new traits like drought tolerance to market. Eckes is especially excited about new traits to make food healthier, such as increasing the content of EPA-DHA Omega 3 in crops. “These are the fatty acid that have the health benefits,” he said. “This is really giving consumers a direct benefit.”
Listen to my interview with Peter here: BASF Plant Science President Peter Eckes interview
Eckes also talked about moving the BASF Plant Science global headquarters to North Carolina during his presentation: BASF Plant Science President Peter Eckes presentation
While the agricultural segment is a significant part of BASF, “The Chemical Company” is so much more as Dr. Harald Lauke, President of BASF’s Biological and Effect Systems Research division, showed us with a concept car they have developed with Diemler. “We wanted to showcase what BASF as a chemical company can contribute to a whole car,” said Lauke. “People may underestimate what a company like BASF can do…that we make complete products, together with customers.”
This is all great stuff – and much more to come from the BASF Media Summit. Please feel free to use any or all of the audio or photos from the event!
BASF Ag Media Summit Photos