We care about developing effective herbicides because farmers have a tough time without them. For example, we know how hard farmers have to fight against the weeds which threaten their crop. Without the right herbicide protection, they’d end up with short, weak plants: a poor basis for a harvest.
Weeds can cost farmers a fortune, making harvesting difficult and reducing yields. A study, commissioned by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) surprised even experts. It showed that, each year, weeds cause losses of around 67 billion euros. The figure is hard to grasp – but if you used it to buy 250-gram packs of butter and lined them up end to end, they’d go round the world 135 times. To avoid crippling losses on their farm, most farmers welcome the idea of responsible herbicide use.
Bacteria, viruses and fungi may be part of nature, but that doesn’t make them welcome. They can make us sick – and what’s true for people is true for plants too. Our fungicides protect plants from disease so they can deliver the best possible yields for farmers.
Leave a crop untreated, and you’ll see losses straight away. A global study showed that if farmers stopped using fungicides they’d need around ten percent more land to achieve the same yields of wheat, rye, barley, oilseed rape, sugar beet and potatoes.
But where’s that land going to come from? All over the world, land is getting scarce. Farmers can’t just buy up a few extra hectares to make up for lost yields. In today’s world, there’s no getting round it: most farmers need fungicides.
These are the products that we have developed hand-in-hand with farmers to increase yields. (Incidentally: we also market biological fungicides whose antifungal action is based on selected microorganisms in many countries.)
Today, biological fungicides are part of crop protection practices worldwide. They give farmers a new effective option, allowing them to vary their pest control measures and prevent the potential development of resistance. These products comply with the tenets of integrated pest management. They can be applied multiple times and even shortly before the harvest. As such, biologicals are an important tool in sustainable agriculture.
We’re proud that our products help in the struggle to feed an expanding global population. Controlling pests is one way farmers can increase the amount of their produce which makes it to market. It’s a practice with a long and honourable tradition; Homer describes the use of sulfur to protect plants against insects, and Marco Polo reports that the Chinese used arsenic for the same purpose.
Today we know that decimated fields are not necessarily the biggest problem. Many insects also transmit plant diseases, usually viral or fungal. Others attack food stores, causing damage after crops have already been harvested.
But not all insects are harmful to humans. Many, such as the ichneumon wasp or ladybird beetle, are considered to be beneficial because they feed on pests.
We have to protect the insects that help us while getting rid of the ones that don’t. This is why we at Bayer only develop insecticides that are safe when used responsibly and correctly, and which do not present a hazard to human beings or the environment. We also market biological insecticides with microorganism-based insecticidal action in many countries.
Today, biological insecticides are part of crop protection practices worldwide. They give farmers a new effective option, allowing them to vary their pest control measures and prevent the potential development of resistance. These products comply with the tenets of integrated pest management. They can be applied multiple times and even shortly before the harvest. As such, biologicals are an important tool in sustainable agriculture.
Planting time is critical on any farm. How many of those tiny seeds will turn out as flourishing plants? For farmers, who’ve invested money and time in planting them, it’s vitally important they grow up strong and healthy.
Comprehensive service portfolio:
Whatever services you chose from Bayer, you can be sure of benefiting from our know-how and passion for seed treatment.
- Customer support, training and troubleshooting: Ten Seed Growth Centers across the globe and numerous on-site or in-field specialists are there to provide you with hands-on help.
- Application equipment/technologies: At Bayer we develop customer-specific application technology solutions and invest in the initial and further development of seed-applied technologies in close collaboration with our own and third-party equipment manufacturers. Besides, our own application and equipment specialists are always available to provide on-site advice and support.
- Quality assessments: Since quality is such a key issue in seed treatment, we develop test methods for seeds; assess loading and dosage of active ingredients, seed-to-seed distribution, flowability and plantability; invest to improve dust management and slurry recipes; and conduct germination and physiological studies both in the field and in our own specialist labs.
- Development support: By closely cooperating and interacting with seed companies, seed treaters, industrials and semi-industrials, we help to optimize development processes and produce the best possible seed treatment products.
- On-going formulation development: Our on-going investment in research and development enables us to regularly optimize existing seed treatment formulations and develop news ones to meet market requirements.
- Stewardship: At Bayer we take the stewardship issue very seriously through environmental profiles, operator safety training, certifications and communications. One concrete example of how stewardship is practiced at Bayer comes from our successful efforts to limit dust-off through improving the stickability of film coatings (e.g. via improved product formulations); through tests on application equipment at our Advanced Equipment Department in Minneapolis, USA; through controlling dust during planting via modifications to drilling equipment; and through educating operators, customers, seed companies and seed treaters on dust-off issues.