For every plant that grows in a field, there are plenty of things that may prevent it from growing healthily. Our crops must contend with up to 10,000 species of insects, 3,000 types of nematodes, and 50,000 diseases caused by bacteria, fungi and viruses.
To help farmers facing these major challenges and at the same time meeting the high demands of consumers for sustainable cultivation, Bayer supports them with a broad range of tailored agronomic solutions – including biological crop protection. The company will present its latest biological innovations which are now together under the “Biologicals by Bayer” umbrella brand name at this year’s Annual Biocontrol Industry Meeting (ABIM).
The conference is the most important industry meeting for manufacturers of organic crop protection products and will take place from Oct. 21 to 23 in Basel, Switzerland. For three days, the focus will be on trends in research and development, innovations in the biologics market and novel biological products for environmentally conscious and sustainable crop protection. The congress is organized by the International Biocontrol Manufacturers’ Association (IBMA) and the Swiss Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL). Bayer will have a booth at the fair and present its product portfolio.
Over the past ten years, the use of biologicals has increased significantly by approximately 10 to 15 per cent every year and is expected to continue growing. There are many reasons for this growth, including innovations that have made new products easier to discover, safer and more effective to use. But one of the main reasons is that biologicals provide another way of controlling pests that few products can match, making them a perfect fit in modern integrated pest management programs: Biologicals have unique modes of action, which helps farmers better manage pest resistance by knocking insects and diseases off their virulent paths.
An important goal for Bayer is to find the right partners to further expand the biologicals market together. In June for example, Bayer and AlphaBio Control signed a distribution agreement to market Flipper, an innovative biological pest control product developed by AlphaBio. Under the terms of this agreement, AlphaBio grants Bayer an almost worldwide exclusive right to commercialize Flipper for agriculture and non-agriculture uses.
“Bayer is committed to reducing agriculture’s ecological footprint through innovation, including biological and low-residue solutions such as Flipper,” said Liam Condon, member of the board of management of Bayer AG and president of the Crop Science Division. Bayer is open to foster partnerships with manufacturers of biologicals in order to be able to offer farmers more efficient integrated solutions tailored to their needs, Karl Muenks, Segment Manager Biologicals at Bayer, added.
Innovation will cut the ecological footprint of Bayer’s agricultural portfolio fundamentally by 2030, the company recently said. With its solutions, Bayer will reduce the environmental impact of crop protection by 30 per cent without sacrificing yield and the health of the harvest. This will be achieved by developing new technologies that help farmers to scale down crop protection product volumes and enable a more precise application.
Bayer for example is partnering with private and public institutions to advance the understanding of the soil microbiome and identify beneficial microbial strains from different environments around the world. As an R&D leader in agricultural seed-applied technologies, Bayer boasts a multidisciplinary team of researchers and scientists who focus solely on biologicals and excel in harnessing the power of beneficial bacteria – creating innovative seed treatment/enhancement products that broaden the choice of agronomic solutions for farmers and also address consumer and environmental needs.
Among recently launched innovations is Bayer’s BioRise Corn offering in North America, a new seed treatment designed to increase the functional root volume as well as water and nutrient uptake of corn plants by enhancing the colonization of beneficial mycorrhizal bacteria in their root systems. Growers can expect to benefit from some new seed applied biologicals that are in early and advanced stages in the Bayer R&D pipeline, such as next generation crop efficiency solutions for corn and soybeans which will be launched in 2022 and 2024 respectively.
Biological solutions are in particularly high demand in fruit and vegetables, where Bayer is the global market leader. Continued innovation will help ensure that market growth is sustained and that the current global market penetration for biological products from Bayer of over 80 million acres is further expanded.
Bayer in Biologicals
To meet the needs of farmers and to contribute to global food supplies, Bayer has been investing since over a decade in the development of high-quality biologicals with proven efficacy and scientifically demonstrated modes of action. These innovative products are used as part of integrated disease- and pest-management systems to help ensure healthy harvests. A wide range of tailored agronomic solutions ensures farmers can help maintain biodiversity by employing a diversity of solutions in their fields. This also helps farmers to ensure environmental sustainability and to meet market demands in an economically sustainable manner.