ORLANDO, Fla.—Farmers are looking for whole-farm solutions for simplified production with one or two major suppliers of technology and products, said David Hollinrake, vice-president agricultural commercial operations marketing, Bayer CropScience. The leader for operations explained his version of what the company’s customers are looking for during a conference for selected agricultural media preceding Commodity Classic, the annual gathering of wheat, sorghum, corn and soybean growers.
Hollinrake contends that Bayer CropScience has been known for its chemistry research and development, but the company is rapidly building seed expertise as a way to reach more customers. Seed is an entry point for reaching potential customers and building a relationship with them.
The vice president said Bayer CropScience has four pillars of operations for the future: enhance crop protection, sharpen customer focus, lead in innovation and strengthen seed business.
He quickly flashed up ten internal strategic initiatives for the company or goals for the company. The brief bullet points and a little explanation are as follows:
1) Develop integrated solutions (cooperation occurring from within crop production areas and other business units of Bayer).
2) Weed management leadership.
3) Grower pull transformation (growers request Bayer CropScience products).
4) Downstream seed treatment focus for growth and defense (increase business volume and defend market share).
5) Attain market leading horticulture position.
6) Manage channel consolidation (distribution and retail efforts).
7) Focused talent development (employee focus).
8) Broad acre herbicide/fungicide share gain.
9) Maintain cotton and canola seed leadership and extend soybean footprint.
10) Bee health and stewardship leadership.
David Nicholson, Ph.D., the head of research and development, Bayer CropScience, took the stage to explain how research and development is a key driver for the company and that $5 billion euros will be invested in the next few years.
The company has 13 research and development sites around the world and 18 seed processing, field evaluation operations. There are commodity crop advances being made, but Bayer also has 150 new seed varieties being added to the wide portfolio of vegetable seeds.
Bayer acquired two biologic companies in the last two years, and the fruits of these acquisitions are coming about so that new biologic products will be added started in 2013 and beyond.
It was noted that a biological product can go through registration in the U.S. in two or three years compared to 10 years and more than $250 million for a chemistry-based product to go from discovery to the market.
Nicholson said, “We are living in a new era of biological understanding.”
He used the example of the first individual’s human genome taking 10 years to be sequenced, but within a couple years the genome sequencing of a human will take one day and cost around $1,000. Today, it would be between $4,000 and $5,000 to complete that process in two or three days
Bayer CropScience is aiming to deliver differentiated and sustainable crop solutions; exploit our expertise in seeds, breeding and traits, biologics and small molecules to build a unique position in crop efficiency; build integrated and effective global research and development; and develop a world class external network.
Nicholson said Bayer will be outsourcing, partnering and working in cooperating with other companies and academic institutions going forward much more than in the past.