BASF Confirms New Fungicide Mode of Action

Specialty crop producers can take advantage of a new unique class of fungicide that provides two modes of action to manage fungal resistance.

BASFBASF researchers have confirmed the discovery of a unique binding mechanism in Initium® fungicide, a key component of Zampro® fungicide, currently available for sale in the U.S.

This means that Zampro fungicide is the first, and currently only, fungicide in this classification. Zampro fungicide is not cross-resistant with other commercial fungicides, making it an ideal tool for managing fungal resistance in specialty crops. The classification has been accepted by the Fungicide Resistance Action Committee (FRAC).

“Zampro fungicide provides two modes of action, one of which is a completely unique class of control,” said Jennifer Holland, Ph.D., Product Manager, BASF. “The fungicide is a superior solution for vegetable growers seeking control of downy mildew and late blight.”

Read more from BASF.

FMC Introduces Solstice at Classic

classic14-fmcThis year at the Commodity Classic, FMC Corporation was excited to announce the registration of new Solstice herbicide to be used early post-emerge in corn.

Technical Service Rep Nick Hustedde says Solstice is a pre-mix of two modes of action – PPD and HPPD – that creates rapid activity that works especially well on large-seeded broadleaf escapes, such as waterhemp and Palmer Amaranth.

Nick also talked about Authority Maxx, which received EPA registration last fall, as well as Anthem now registered for soybeans. Interview with Nick Hustedde, FMC

While at the FMC booth, I was also able to talk with Matt Hancock about FMC’s Capture LFR insecticide, which he says is now the leading soil-applied insecticide in corn. Matt says one of the main reasons for that is that Capture LFR helps improve yield “by protecting your stand from corn root worms, including resistant corn root worms, and secondary pests like white grubs, root aphids, seed corn maggots, cut worms, wire worms, all those pests that are out there in the soil waiting to damage your stand before it ever really gets started good.”

Matt adds that farmers can visit to find out more about Capture LFR – and listen to him explain more in this interview. Interview with Matt Hancock, FMC

2014 Commodity Classic Photos

BASF Fights Weed Resistance in Colorado

12807927604_8316ec035c_qAt the BASF “Science Behind the Advanced Acre” media event before Commodity Classic a few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to learn more about how BASF helps farmers in various parts of the country.

Bob Leisy is a business representative with BASF based in Eastern Colorado. He works with retailers and crop consultants, helping them help local growers, like Alex Rock who we already heard from, to make informed and smart decisions about advanced weed control and plant health.

One of the more interesting things I learned from Bob is the problem that tumbleweeds are in that part of the country. “A lot of our kochia turns to tumbleweeds,” he said. “In the fall, once the plant dies off, the wind breaks it off and then that plant distributes seed as it rolls across the field.” Those tumbleweeds can spread about 100,000 seeds of glyphosate-resistant kochia as they roll, so Bob says they are working with growers to spray for kochia earlier than ever before to try and control it. “We’re looking at using 12-16 ounces of Clarity, a dicamba product from BASF, to put some residual in the ground that will kill the kochia as it begins to sprout.”

You can listen to my interview with Bob here: Interview with Bob Leisy, BASF Business Representative

BASF at the 2014 Commodity Classic Photos

BASF Sharpen Gets Registration for Rice

Rice growers now have a new weapon in the fight against tough weeds such as hemp sesbania, morning glory, and Texasweed.

basf-sharpenBASF has received federal registration of Sharpen® herbicide for both pre- and post-emergence applications on rice to allow for flexible control of broadleaf weeds.

“This is a herbicide that offers growers broad-spectrum control on broadleaf weeds,” said Eric Webster, Ph.D., of Louisiana State University, who has studied Sharpen herbicide for several years. “Mainly, we have seen Sharpen herbicide control hemp sesbania, Texasweed and jointvetch very well.”

Webster says Sharpen herbicide is also easily incorporated into the Clearfield® Production System for rice from BASF. “It is an additional chemistry that can be incorporated into that system,” he explained.

Sharpen herbicide is powered by Kixor® herbicide technology – find out more here.

BASF Agronomist and Central Illinois Farming

Ahead of Commodity Classic in San Antonio last week, BASF Crop Protection held the eighth in its Science Behind media event series with the theme of The Advanced Acre.

12807770804_be98529644_qJeremy Hogan, Innovation Specialist and Agronomist with BASF in Central Illinois, works with farmers to deliver agronomic and product solutions to their operations. Jeremy and I discussed last year’s crazy growing season weather that ended up producing a record crop. BASF is already helping growers prepare for a successful 2014 growing season by planning for all the possible scenarios that could cause problems, such as glyphosate-resistant weeds. Listen to my interview with Jeremy here: Interview with Jeremy Hogan, BASF

12807460983_1f11784dd9_qT.J. Shambaugh is a 7th generation central Illinois farmer. After graduating from Purdue he came back to the family farm. He works closely with Jeremy and BASF to make his family farming operation be the most profitable for them. TJ and his father have a unique approach to their operation, with TJ handling the front end from seed selection, planting and and how they will plant each seed.  His dad works the back end of the operation, from running the combine at harvest to marketing the sale of the finished product. Listen to my interview with TJ here: Interview with TJ Shambaugh, Central IL Farmer

BASF at the 2014 Commodity Classic Photos

BASF Helps Growers Plan for Success

classic14-basf-ajNobody in business plans for failure and farmers are no different.

“We have to plan for success,” says BASF Technical Crop Production Specialist AJ Woodyard. “We have to take that mindset again this year of looking at what is my plan for success this growing season and how am I going to implement that strategy to best maximize yield on my farm.”

During the BASF Science Behind the Advanced Acre event prior to Commodity Classic last week, AJ talked about how higher yields will be more important to growers this year than ever before. “Prices aren’t where they have been so getting the most return from a bushel standpoint is going to be very important,” he said.

AJ talked about BASF’s advanced weed control options, advanced plant health, and the economics of seed treatments. “When we look at the economics and the return on seed treatments, we find that with today’s commodity prices and at various yield levels, there’s likely a nine out of ten chance that seed treatment is going to pay for itself. That’s pretty good odds,” he said.

Listen to my interview with AJ here: Interview with AJ Woodyard, BASF

Here more from AJ’s presentation here: AJ Woodyard, BASF Science Behind presentation

BASF at the 2014 Commodity Classic Photos

BASF Spotlights Future of Farming

classic14-basf-drawingOver 7,000 people had the opportunity to visit the BASF Crop Protection USA booth at the Commodity Classic to learn more about the future of farming – by video and through the eyes of children.

The newest video from BASF, featuring fun facts about how far the industry has progressed and how we must advance in order to meet the needs of future generations, was on a movie screen size display. Behind it was a wall displaying creative pictures artwork from children across the country of how they see the future of farming.

BASF asked children what they thought farming would look like in 50 or 100 years and got dozens of creative, innovative and colorful concepts that were on display in the booth. The winning submission, by 11-year-old Moise Dougherty of Minnesota, was chosen on Saturday morning.

See more photos here:
BASF at the 2014 Commodity Classic Photos

Watch the new BASF video here:

BASF at the 2014 Commodity Classic Photos

BASF Shares Science Behind the Advanced Acre

basf-cc-14This is the eighth year for the BASF Crop Protection Science Behind media event series held prior to the kickoff of the Commodity Classic and this year the theme is The Advanced Acre.

“The advanced acre is a comprehensive approach that BASF wants to take in its relationship with growers,” said Scott Kay, BASF Vice President for U.S. Crop Protection. “It’s a very good approach to start with the agronomics, talk to the growers about what they have going on on their farm and what they’re planning to do in the future.”

basf-cc14-scottScott is carrying a different title at BASF these days than the last few times we talked to him. He recently moved from the Canadian Crop Protection division of the company back to the United States, taking the place of Paul Rea who has gone global with BASF.

Scott is excited to be back in the North Carolina BASF headquarters and sharing with the U.S. ag media what BASF is doing to help growers get the most out of every acre. “BASF is very committed to agriculture,” said Scott. “We make up roughly six percent of the overall BASF business, yet we receive 35% of the overall R&D investment. That equates to about two million dollars every day.”

BASF now expects its crop protection R&D pipeline
to achieve a peak sales potential of nearly €2.1 billion ($2.9 billion), an increase of €400 million over the past year, driven primarily by global demand for BASF’s new Xemium fungicide and Kixor herbicide. BASF also plans to launch a host of new products across a wide range of crops and markets until the end of the decade. Supported by favorable market trends, the R&D pipeline and continued investments will contribute to the Crop Protection division reaching its previously-announced sales target of €8 billion ($11 billion) by 2020.

Listen to my interview with Scott here: Interview with Scott Kay, BASF
Listen to Scott’s Science Behind presentation here: BASF Science Behind with Scott Kay

BASF at the 2014 Commodity Classic Photos

Bayer CropScience at NFMS

Bayer CropSciencesScott Hammon had a good week at the National Farm Machinery show visiting with happy customers who stopped by the Bayer CropScience booth.

Hammon wanted to chat about Bayer’s Corvus pre-emergence herbicide, which he says one of the best-selling in the nation. “It has a low use, we are only using 5.6 ounces per acres,” said Hammon.

Chuck and Cindy are in San Antonio this week for Commodity Classic and will be attending the annual Bayer CropScience Ag Issues Forum starting today.

Listen to my interview with Doug here: Interview with Scott Hammon, Bayer CropScience

National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Two No-Till Products of the Year from BASF

Headline AMPNo-till farmers gave top honors to BASF products Headline AMP® fungicide and Sharpen® herbicide at the recent 22nd Annual National No-Tillage Conference in Springfield, Illinois.

This is the eighth consecutive win for Headline AMP fungicide in the top fungicide product category. Headline AMP fungicide is labeled for corn application. On-farm field trials from 2013 show Headline AMP fungicide delivers 11.7 bu/A more than untreated corn.

basf-sharpenA new winner this year in the weed control product category, Sharpen herbicide, drives burndown of tough weeds three-to-five times faster than 2,4-D or glyphosate – an important feature for many no-till growers. Sharpen herbicide is powered by Kixor® herbicide technology, featuring a unique chemistry that provides foliar and soil activity on today’s toughest weeds.

Expect to hear more about these products when we attend the BASF media event this week prior to Commodity Classic in San Antonio!

Authority Minute Now “The Minute” by FMC

The MinuteJake Turner must be kicking butt as the Minute Man for FMC Crop Protection. We’ve known his online video series as the Authority Minute. Well, now it’s going to be just “The Minute” by FMC. The content will include an expanded territory and more topics, crops and issues. You can find in online at

“Since launching Authority Minute nearly a year ago, we’ve received numerous comments from growers and retailers who want information beyond soybeans and weed management,” said Paul Redhage, FMC Agricultural Solutions North America strategic communications manager. “By adding more content for a wider audience, others will be able to learn from experts around the country.”

Host Jake Turner will continue to lead viewers as he travels across the country talking with experts on topics from insect resistance and starter fertilizers to tank mixing and sprayer calibrations. Upcoming new episodes will feature a weed identification challenge and the topic of tackling summer annuals.

The transition also includes a Watch and Win Sweepstakes. Account holders who view the online episodes will automatically be entered to win the grand prize – a dream vacation of their choice from one of six destinations, valued up to $5,000. Five first-place winners will receive $500 airfare vouchers and 20 additional winners will receive digital cameras. The sweepstakes entry period ends May 30, 2014. Winners are selected at random and will be notified in June. Sweepstakes rules and regulations are posted online at

BASF Advanced Seed Enhancement is Global

basf-alysonAt the ASTA CSS 2013 and Seed Expo last week, we heard about the BASF portfolio of Advanced Seed Enhancements including inoculants, colorants, and biological and chemical seed treatments. Much of this new portfolio comes from the BASF acquisition of Becker Underwood in late 2012, according to Alyson Emanuel, Vice President of Global Business Management for BASF Functional Crop Care.

“We were here (at ASTA CSS) just a year ago when we had just closed the deal and the last year we’ve been very busy working on our portfolio in seed solutions bringing together the BASF side of the house and the Becker Underwood side of the house,” said Alyson.

She explains that BASF’s exclusive BioStacked® technology has enabled them to combine inoculants and biofungicides, polymers and colorants designed for specific crops. “It provides better rooting architecture, enhances plant health, nutrient uptake, disease protection – it’s a very interesting technology that we’re just beginning to see the benefits of,” Alyson said.

BASF is launching the technology in both North and South America and they plan to bring it into Europe as well. “The great thing about the BioStacked technology is that it can be very customized to the particular environment and the needs of the farmers in the area,” Alyson said

Learn more in this interview: Interview with Alyson Emanuel, BASF Functional Crop Care

Results from BASF Survey on Weed Resistance

BASFA new grower survey by BASF Crop Protection shows majority of are facing challenges with glyphosate-resistant weeds.

Three out of four growers who participated in a recent survey by BASF suspect that glyphosate resistance is a cause of their tough to control weeds. As a result, a staggering 76 percent of these growers have already changed their weed management program to address resistance. In addition, many growers have experienced lower yields, which they attribute to resistant weeds. These growers have also spent more time scouting and invested more money in their crops due to resistant weeds.

Growers in the survey also identified how they plan to change their control programs next year, with more than two-thirds indicating they would be applying a preemergence herbicide this season and more than half planning to add an additional herbicide to their existing program. Half of the growers surveyed plan to use more than one site of action and nearly half said they plan on using overlapping residual herbicides to control resistant weeds.

According to the survey, growers say the most difficult weed to control is waterhemp, with ragweed species coming in a close second. Lambsquater and marestail were also identified as difficult weeds.

Read more from BASF.

BASF Advanced Plant Health and Grower Engagement

Advanced plant health and grower engagement were two topics that BASF Crop Protection representatives discussed with reporters at the recent National Association of Farm Broadcasting Trade Talk.

nafb13-basf-reevesDr. Brianne Reeves is a member of the BASF Plant Health Technical Market team and in that role supports field research efforts and manages technical training for Priaxor® fungicide. Brianne is a DPM – Doctor of Plant Medicine – so she knows quite a bit about plant health and how Xemium® fungicide, the active ingredient in Priaxor fungicide, brings advanced plant health benefits to the table.

“The advanced plant health benefits are advanced growth efficiency, advanced disease control and advanced stress tolerance,” she says, noting that BASF has done hundreds of research projects to show those benefits, such as the “root and shoot” advantages. “Better roots, better shoots, more leaves, greener leaves, more photosynthesis, better yields.” Interview with Dr. Brianne Reeves, BASF

In addition to advancements in plant health, BASF has made a commitment to advancing its partnership with farmers in the field by introducing Innovation Specialists like Kaleb Hellwig to engage with growers and help them manage their operations more effectively.

nafb13-basf-kaleb“It’s not about selling them a product, I make recommendations for competitive products, I make recommendations in the fertility area,” Kaleb says. “So that when they make an application of Priaxor in soybeans or Headline AMP in corn or Twinline in wheat that they get the very highest return.”

Kaleb says BASF has gotten such positive feedback with Innovation Specialists in the field that they will be expanding the program next year. Interview with Kaleb Hellwig, BASF

2013 NAFB Convention Photo Album

BASF Beauties and Bozeman at NAFB

nafb13-basf-lukeBASF Technical Market Manager for Herbicides Luke Bozeman is surrounded by a bevy of beauties here at NAFB Trade Talk. Left to right around Luke are Courtney Reigh and Amy Jensen with Padilla/CRT; Sandi Wilson, Pat Morrow and Hillary Jaworski of BASF.

We talked with Luke to get the latest update on Engenia™ herbicide and the BASF On-Target Application Academy (OTAA).

lukeEngenia is the BASF herbicide being developed for dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton. Luke says all the field trials this year went well and the launch is basically just waiting on approvals. “Regulatory reviews are progressing nicely and we’re expecting to be in the marketplace following the approval of the dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton which looks like it could be 2015,” he said.

BASF’s OTAA just finished its second year and Luke says they plan to expand the program’s reach in 2014. “We’ve had over 3,000 growers come through our training events,” he said. “In 2014 we’ll be developing an on-line tool that will allow growers, at their convenience, to source the most up-to-date information on application technologies.”

Find out more from Luke here: Interview with Luke Bozeman, BASF

2013 NAFB Convention Photo Album

People Who Love Bugs Who Eat Bugs

Pest ManagementThe past president of the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation, Tamara Leigh, shows off her Bekina Boots in this photo with several researchers. Tamara was presenting them with a thank you gift for taking time to meet with us. We were assembled in the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre during a stop on our CFWF farm tour. The Centre conducts research into integrated pest management, horticultural practices and nutrient management in berries, field crops and greenhouse vegetables.

One of the presenters is Dave Gillespie who spoke on his research as a guy who likes bugs who eat bugs. He mainly did this through answering questions.

You can listen to the presentation here: Pest Management Research

2013 Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation Photo Album

FMC Builds Platform for Biological Crop Protection

fmcFMC Corporation announced the creation of a world-class platform to serve the fast-growing biological crop protection market through two strategic transactions.

The first transaction is an agreement with Chr.Hansen, a biosciences company specializing in cultures, enzymes and fermentation, to develop and commercialize biological crop protection products. They also announced the acquisition of the Center for Agricultural and Environmental Biosolutions (CAEB), a division of North Carolina based RTI International, specializing in sustainable agriculture research.

“FMC is poised to become a leader in biological crop protection,” said Mark A. Douglas, president, FMC Agricultural Solutions. “We now have a world-class library of microorganisms, deep expertise in biological discovery, and an exclusive strategic alliance with one of the world’s foremost authorities on microbial research and fermentation. Combine these new elements with FMC’s global market access and historic strengths in formulation, product development, and market innovation and we have a powerful platform from which we can launch a range of new products.”

FMC has broadened its portfolio of crop protection products delivering more value to farmers around the world. They recently added several patented fungicides and now the company is building on its success in synthetic chemistries to offer a range of biological insecticides, herbicides and fungicides.

For more information on FMC’s biological crop protection platform you can find the complete press release here.

BASF Expands RTP Faciity

While we were in Argentina last week, BASF held a ribbon cutting to officially open its $33 million facility expansion in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

basf-ribbon-cutting“This expansion demonstrates BASF’s strong commitment to Agricultural Solutions and strengthens our research and development capabilities”, said Peter Eckes, President BASF Plant Science. “This investment demonstrates our commitment to our employees, our neighbors and the state of North Carolina.”

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, Commissioner Steve Troxler, U.S. Representative David Price, Mayor of Durham William Bell and other guests from government, business and academia were invited to join BASF employees at the event.

“A significant share of BASF’s insecticide research is conducted in RTP. These larger facilities will enable us to evaluate our promising insecticide candidates faster,” said Nevin McDougall, Senior Vice President, BASF Crop Protection North America.

The facilities include a climate-controlled greenhouse and laboratories for plant biotechnology research and a new environmentally-controlled insect production facility to expand insect control research.

Photo courtesy of BASF. Pictured left to right: Congressman G.K. Butterfield, Congressman David Price, President of BASF Plant Science Peter Eckes, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, Senior Vice President of BASF Crop Protection Nevin McDougall and City of Durham Mayor William Dell.

BASF Plant Health – Weather or Not

fps13-basf-souljeKeeping plants healthy in all types of weather conditions was the theme of a BASF Crop Protection presentation at the 2013 Farm Progress Show and if there ever was a year of weather extremes, this has been it.

“You can come up with an extreme spell of dryness, an extreme spell of wet weather, you put them together and technically speaking it’s a ‘normal’ distribution of moisture but a producer will tell you it’s anything but,” said meteorologist Greg Soulje. He gave an overview of 2013 weather, how 2012 set the table for this year, and what he expects for the harvest season. Interview with meteorologist Greg Soulje

fps13-basf-kenFarmer Ken Dalenberg of Mansfield, Illinois – who is also an agronomist – talked about his experiences farming in adverse weather conditions and how fungicides are one management tool he has in his toolbox to grow good crops.

Ken says whether it’s late planting like this year or early like last year, fungicides have been important both years to moderate crop stress. “In 2012 when we had the drought, it was important to keep the plant alive as long as we could,” and Ken said the use of fungicides helped slow down respiration and keep yields. “This year, with the early wetness, delayed planting, early wet season and now flash drought…we did have a season that did allow the plant to pollinate and so we should have average to above average yields if we can maintain plant health.” Interview with farmer Ken Dalenberg

fps13-basf-ajBASF’s AJ Woodyard discussed the BASF fungicide portfolio and how they help maintain plant health in all weather condiitons.

“In the corn market, our primary product recommendation is Headline AMP…because it delivers two modes of action that give you the best disease control on the marketplace and number two also give you the most yield benefit,” said AJ. “Priaxor is a recent addition to our portfolio…it brings a unique chemistry into the row crop market that delivers some advance plant health benefits.” Priaxor is recommended for early timing in corn and also soybeans.

Among the benefits that the fungicides offer are disease protection and more efficient utilization of nitrogen in wet weather, as well as improved photosynthesis and reduction of ethylene in dry weather. Interview with BASF's AJ Woodyard

2013 Farm Progress Show Photo Album

Vote for Your Favorite FMC Anthem Singer

fmc-finalistsFour agricultural students will win scholarship prizes in this year’s FMC “Stand & Be Heard Anthem Singing Contest.” Alexandra Carpenter, Noelle Goodson, Hayley Hall and Alexander Raun (pictured here with FMC’s Paul Redhage) were recently selected by a panel of judges and then traveled to Nashville to take part in a professional Music City recording experience.

FMC Anthem Stand and Be Heard“The quality of this year’s finalists illustrates the great future for agriculture. From across the nation, we had a number of excellent students participate and the finalists exemplify the best of the best,” said Tim Thompson, FMC Agricultural Solutions North America product manager.

The finalists’ updated performances are posted on and the final round of online voting will run through September 15 to determine a grand prize winner. The finalist who receives the most votes will win a $10,000 scholarship. The three remaining finalists will receive $5,000 scholarships. Winners will be announced on Sept. 18.

FMC Corporation continues to invest in farming’s future by bringing innovative crop protection products to the industry, including two new herbicides, Anthem® and Anthem® ATZ. For more information on FMC crop protection products, please visit