BASF today hosted the seventh annual Science Behind BASF media symposium in conjunction with the Commodity Classic. This year, journalists learned about the latest developments in crop protection through three different sessions led by researchers and growers on topics such as weed control and Plant Health.“While public sector spending on agricultural research is flat, BASF is continuing to invest in agriculture through a variety of activities, including funding more than $2 million per day in research,” said Paul Rea, Vice President, Crop Protection, BASF. “This symposium has become an interactive way for BASF to help educate media on advancements we are bringing to the industry. Our ongoing research in Plant Health and introduction of Advanced Weed Control are important parts of our portfolio of solutions to help growers get the most out every acre.”
Science Behind Advanced Weed Control
According to the Weed Science Society of America, weeds cause more yield loss and add more to farmers’ production costs than insects, disease, birds, deer and other grazers. Such a prolific problem requires a robust solution – which is why BASF has made weed control a priority.
“Preventing weeds from impacting yields can be difficult for growers,” said Luke Bozeman, Technical Market Manager, BASF. “It’s important to identify and anticipate the problem weeds in their fields, choose the right mix of herbicides to treat them and apply these herbicides in the right ways at the right times.”
At the symposium, BASF experts reviewed research and development activities that will drive the next generation of weed management, including a series of demonstrations showing how Advanced Weed Control can help growers tackle today’s toughest weeds.
Science Behind Plant Health
“Plant Health is all about the benefits fungicides provide to manage disease and help enhance crops and maximize their yield potential,” said Gary Fellows, Ph.D., Technical Market Manager, BASF. “We have conducted thousands of on-farm trials and lab research on Plant Health benefits and found that, over and over again, plants treated with BASF fungicides help produce more yield.”
New BASF research on one aspect of Plant Health gives insight into why photosynthesis is important and how BASF fungicides can impact this process. The research shows that BASF fungicide products help plants increase net photosynthesis, which increases energy production and, in turn, yield potential. These products include Headline AMP® fungicide for corn, Priaxor™ fungicide for soybeans and Twinline® fungicide for cereals.
Science Behind Successful Growers
Kip Cullers, Purdy, Missouri, and Randy Dowdy, Brooks County, Georgia, shared first-hand examples of the information discussed in the other sessions, including their keys to success.
Cullers manages a large corn and soybean operation in southwest Missouri. In 2010, he broke his own soybean yield world record with a 160.0 bu/A yield. Dowdy owns a diversified operation in Georgia, where he had the second highest corn yield in the country in 2012 with 372.33 bu/A.
Both Cullers and Dowdy discussed their strategies for growing high-yield crops, which include the use of a planned and complete pest management program.
“It doesn’t matter how the season is progressing, every year we start the season with the decision that we will stay ahead of weeds, disease and insect pests,” Cullers said. “By planning ahead, we are able to take control of pests before they negatively affect our crop, helping us maximize yield and ROI.”
AJ Woodyard, Technical Crop Production Specialist, BASF, shared newly released results from three years of crop protection research trials, using a comprehensive approach, which led to an average 6.0 bu/A increase in soybeans and 18.2 bu/A increase in corn when compared to a non-residual, glyphosate-based program.1,2