BASF Innovation Tour takes growers by surprise
A delegation of 28 farmers had the opportunity to attend this year’s Agritechnica Trade Show and visit BASF’s Research and Development centres in Germany. For those lucky enough to join the Innovation Tour, the trip to BASF’s HQ to hear about plant breeding, on-farm trials and the company’s new cereal fungicide – Revysol® – took many of them by surprise.
Founded in 1865, BASF started as a dye company, moving into fertilisers in 1910, followed by herbicides, fungicides and insecticides. Today the company also includes seeds, traits and digital tools – a growing portfolio designed to support the future of crop production.
With over 120 production plants covering 10km² and greenhouses spanning over 12,250m², the group quickly came to appreciate how important agriculture is to BASF.
Robert Dyball from Suffolk said that he had no idea of the scale of the company, the sectors it’s involved in, nor of the scope of the R&D that is undertaken into agricultural developments.
“Looking round the product trials in BASF’s greenhouses, I was very impressed by the scale,” he said. “For example, I had no idea that they start with 140,000 active ingredients to get to the one that is used in the field, this was very impressive”.
BASF invests one third of their income into Research and Development for Agricultural Solutions, and whilst chemical solutions are still their primary focus, bio-tech is quickly growing as the second largest area.
Iain Robertson from Dorset revealed that he didn’t know about the range of products BASF makes beyond agriculture. “It was just amazing to see the production plant; you can’t comprehend the size and infrastructure. I didn’t realise everything else that BASF is involved in, from the paint on your car, to the super absorbers in children’s nappies”.
Hugo Pryce, BASF’s Suffolk-based Agronomy Manager added, “I think that the visits to the BASF sites were really informative for the famers”.
“They all said that to see the process that we go through to get one product to market gives them all an understanding the huge investment BASF is doing in R&D”.
“It was also a great time to travel, just ahead of the launch of Revysol®. With the loss of chlorothalonil, the timing couldn’t be more important to every cereal grower in the UK”.
The 28 farmers who went on the trip won their place as a result of scanning their cans of Adexar® and Librax® cereal fungicides.