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Published July 20, 2010, 09:47 AM

New tools to meet growing demand

SABIN, Minn. — Bayer CropScience officials say their company is certain genetically modified wheat will be a reality, and while the date isn’t certain, they know their company will be there with traits and technology.

By: Mikkel Pates, Agweek

SABIN, Minn. — Bayer CropScience officials say their company is certain genetically modified wheat will be a reality, and while the date isn’t certain, they know their company will be there with traits and technology.

This was one of the many messages July 13 as the company hosted more than 125 retailers and crop consultants Innovation Tour, at its Northern Field Technology Center. Tours for companies and universities have been popular this season, as crops have been largely healthy at midsummer.

Mark Wrucke, North Central regional manager for development and market support, says the company is working to help farmers grow better quality and increased yields to “meet the growing global demands” on agriculture.

The company has introduced 21 new active ingredients in the market in the past 10 years and plans to introduce nine more in the next three years, officials say.

Not just chemicals

Bayer CropScience lists a dizzying array of new herbicide, fungicide, seed treatment and seed trait advancements. The company is more than chemicals and traits, officials emphasize, and it is big in the seed market in the cotton, canola and rice areas.

Officials cite the importance of a November 2009 acquisition in which Bayer CropScience acquired Athenix Corp. of Research Triangle Park, N.C. Athenix has an extensive herbicide tolerance and insect control rait development program, and “the largest collection of Bt genes in the industry,” crucial for insect resistance in plants.

Among the product showcases for cereals, officials are promoting Wolverine herbicide, Rimfire Max herbicide, Huskie herbicide and Prosaro fungicide.

For corn, they talked up an array of herbicides — Balance FLEXX, Corvus, Laudis, as well as the fungicide Stratego. Other corn products include Stratego YLD fungicide and Poncho/VOTiVO seed treatment.

For soybeans, they are promoting Ignite herbicide for LibertyLink soyeans. On sugar beets, they are promoting the Proline fungicide and Poncho Beta seed treatment.

Sugar beet growers just now are getting into a season when protections are important. The company is promoting Poncho Beta for controlling secondary pests.

Among other things, company officials say it’s the inaugural year of a new Bayer CropScience Graduate Recruiting and Development Program, designed to attract promising people into the profession and into their company. The program assists with tuition with students who continue their education in agricultural sciences.

The first in the program is Adam Chyle of Park River, N.D., who is pursuing a master’s degree in crop and weed sciences at North Dakota State University in Fargo. He already holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration at Mayville (N.D.) State University and a bachelor of science degree from NDSU in crop and weed sciences.

Officials announced a Sweeter World Sweepstakes that includes a trip to the the 2011 American Sugarbeet Growers Association annual meeting and a new iPad. Enter online between Aug. 2 and Oct. 31.

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