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Source: Bayer CropScience news release

The future is always hard to predict, let alone the future of farming. With environmental challenges such as climate change, pest resistance and the emergence of new invasive pests, farmers have to live with a degree of uncertainty. But there is at least one positive indicator of the ways in which farming is evolving in the 21st century-the Bayer CropScience product pipeline.

Bayer CropScience has a strong product pipeline that offers instructive insights into the ways in which agribusiness and biotechnology are addressing the challenges of agricultural production in a shifting environment. A variety of new products have been introduced this year and more are slated for launch during the next few years, offering farmers a unique lens into the future of farming and biotechnology.

More Modes, Fewer Escapes

In a move to broaden the disease control spectrum and deliver multiple modes of action, Bayer CropScience introduced Stratego® YLD fungicide, which offers the latest triazole technology combined with strobilurin chemistry. Stratego YLD provides preventive and curative activity for broad-spectrum control in both corn and soybeans, helping stave off environmental stresses including disease threats such as gray leaf spot, brown spot and common rusts.

Farmers are always on the lookout for fresh options against resistant weeds. Now they have one with Capreno® herbicide. The back story is interesting: Corvus® herbicide and Laudis® herbicide are proven corn herbicides, with Corvus offering powerful pre-emergent control of grass and broadleaf weeds in one pass, while Laudis provides strong postemergent and long-lasting residual efficacy against a similar class of weeds, including resistant biotypes.

Scientists at Bayer CropScience combined an active ingredient from each product to create Capreno, a post herbicide with dual modes of action, a broad weed control spectrum including weeds resistant to multiple herbicide classes (such as glyphosate, PPO, ALS, and dicamba chemistries) and tankmix compatibility with either glyphosate or Liberty® herbicide, offering the potential to add a third mode of action.

Trait Innovation

Seed traits and seed treatments remain on the cutting edge of biotechnology, and Bayer CropScience is an innovative leader in both categories. The company's Poncho/VOTiVO® seed treatment-one of 15 seed treatments in the Bayer portfolio-combines a proven seed-applied insecticide with powerful nematode protection to control early season pests, particularly nematodes, on corn, soybean and cotton. Poncho/VOTiVO represents a welcome aid to farmers' efforts to safeguard the developmental stages of crop growth, promoting the stress tolerance so essential to successful harvests.

Seed traits expected to reach the market by mid-decade include a new group of herbicide traits that tolerate HPPD-inhibiting herbicides. With the LibertyLink trait, which tolerates Liberty herbicide, and the GlyTol trait, a glyphosate-tolerant trait for cotton, already in market, these new traits will broaden the arsenal in the battle against resistance. Bayer CropScience is even planning an herbicide "triple stack" that brings all three traits together in a single offering.

Insect traits represent another viable avenue of research, and Bayer CropScience is actively at work on a new generation of insect traits designed with multiple modes of action and broad-spectrum control of leading pests.

All told, Bayer has increased research and development funding for Seeds & Traits, as well as Environmental Science, by 16 percent in 2011. Over the next seven years, the company will invest nearly €3.5B in innovation, pursuing new approaches to sustainable agricultural production-good news for farmers concerned about the rapidly changing landscape of global agriculture.

Talk to your Bayer CropScience representative about emerging challenges in your fields.

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