Bayer CropScience is investing heavily to develop integrated crop solutions to best serve growers' needs.

"Offering innovative tools from improved seeds through to post-harvest treatment, we address key challenges in modern agriculture and promote ways for a sustainable intensification of farming," said Ashish Malik, vice president of global marketing Biologics at Bayer CropScience at the 8th Annual Biocontrol Industry Meeting (ABIM) in Basel, Switzerland. "Products based on biological modes of action for protection of plants against fungi, insect pests and nematodes complement our integrated offer and will help us meet customer needs."

Together with seeds, traits, chemicals, services and product stewardship measures, biologicals constitute Bayer CropScience’s response to customer demand for higher yields, higher quality of harvested produce and new tools for improved resistance management.

Biologicals can help secure the global food supply
The global demand for biological crop protection solutions is growing. Bayer CropScience recognized the needs of its customers and began to step up its research into biologicals in 2009. As the first result, Poncho/Votivo, introduced in the United States on corn seed for the 2011 growing season and today also available for cotton and soybeans, combines a well established seed-applied chemical insecticide with a biological mode of action against nematodes, consistently providing higher crop yields.

"Targeted crop protection combining chemicals and biologicals is a new way to serve sustainable agriculture in meeting current and future challenges," Ashish Malik points out. The United Nations estimates global food production needs to increase by some 70 percent by 2050 and biologicals can contribute to reaching this goal.

New tools in efficient production management
Recent strategic acquisitions have further strengthened the company´s portfolio of integrated crop solutions. Today, Bayer CropScience´s product portfolio includes biological fungicides such as Serenade, Sonata, and Contans, the insecticide Requiem, and the nematicide BioAct. They enhance integrated pest management (IPM) and can help to secure grower and customer satisfaction.

"Integrated crop solutions that include biologicals give growers new options to manage quality requirements of the food value chain," said Peter Lüth, Ph.D., managing director of Prophyta, a Bayer CropScience company developing and producing biologicals.

Another important benefit of biologicals is that they have short pre-harvest and re-entry intervals and thus provide high flexibility on application timing for the grower. Further, when used in combination or rotation with chemicals, biologicals provide new tools in resistance management.

"The bottom line is that biological crop protection products can help optimize the grower´s ability to manage destructive pests, improve yields, and thus increase their profitability," Lüth added.