Bayer Launch Seven New Pesticides
Bayer, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of agricultural chemicals, has revealed plans for the launch of seven new pesticides within the next three years. The new product line will include herbicides, nematicides, fungicides and insecticides, along with a new SDHI fungicide designed for application on wheat that could be on the shelves next year.
Fungicides: An “Explosion of Technology”
Dr Adrian Percy, Bayer’s chief of global research, has spoken of an explosion of technology and agricultural recruitment producing huge advances in biopesticides, seeds and agrochemicals. The new SDHI fungicide is reportedly based on the antifungal azole prothioconazole combined with a mixture of two SDHIs. This new fungicide boasts much greater effectiveness and will be a welcome addition to farmers’ arsenals, given the recent worries about SDHI resistance producing a resurgence of septoria fungal crop infections.
Another area where improvements are expected to occur for agrochemical users is herbicides. Bayer have announced four new herbicides in total, three of which build on existing chemicals in the Bayer product line, namely Liberator and Atlantis. These three herbicides aim to deliver improved broadleaf weed control and extra control over blackgrass.
The fourth product capitalises on the development of herbicide-tolerant varieties of sugar beet by agricultural firm KWS. These varieties exhibit natural tolerance to herbicides based on acetolactate synthase inhibitor, so the new Bayer herbicide should provide sugar-beet growers with a brand new chemical to fight problematic weeds.
Insecticides and Nematicides
Aphid control will see advances by 2018 with the release of a new insecticide for use on root vegetables and crops. The active ingredient will be flupyradifurone, which boasts a good environmental profile, having been approved for use in the US and elsewhere.
Agrochemical users will be aware of the shortage of Vydate, a nematicide for use on carrots and potatoes, after an accident at the US-based production plant. A new Bayer nematicide is in development to relieve this shortage. The expected release date is 2018.
The early portion of the next decade will see the launch of hybrid wheats offering higher yields and stronger climate resistance, according to Dr Percy. Bayer is also working on introducing pod-shatter resistance into future varieties, aiming to incorporate the North American genetic trait into European strains within a couple of years.
Bright Future Ahead?
Dr Percy, speaking to Farmers Weekly in London, said that UK farmers can expect access to these new agrochemicals within three years. This is likely to spark an increase in executive search within the same timeframe as agribusinesses seek new talent to take advantage of the chemicals.
Bayer is currently seeking regulatory approval for its new pesticides, which come as the result of the work of almost 5,000 scientists selected and hired through executive search recruitment programmes and an R&D budget of €1 billion a year. For UK agribusiness, the effects of these new agrochemicals could be important – higher yields mean greater productivity, which in turn necessitates more agriculture recruitment.