RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. -- BASF is naming April as Plant Health Month to raise awareness of the improved plant health benefits, optimal disease control and increased yields it says are delivered by Headline(R) fungicide. In addition to educating about the benefits of plant health, the month-long campaign also includes Headline gear giveaways and a contest with prizes up for grabs.



"April is an ideal month to talk about the importance of plant health benefits because the season is just beginning and growers are working hard to ensure they will achieve maximum yield potential in their crops," said Gary Schmitz, Ph.D., Midwest Regional Technical Manager, North America, BASF Agricultural Products. "Headline offers more than just disease control. It also provides physiological benefits that can help growers get the most out of every acre."



Growers can visit www.planthealth.agweb.com for resources about Plant Health Month, Headline field trial data and success stories from growers who have witnessed the plant health benefits of Headline firsthand.



The Headline Storytellers Contest also kicks off as part of Plant Health Month, which includes great prizes, including an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and 2010 Commodity Classic registrations. Growers can register for the contest on www.planthealth.agweb.com/contest and those who register in April also will receive free Headline gear.



After registering for the Headline Storytellers Contest, growers can share their success stories by Dec. 1, 2009 demonstrating the plant health benefits they achieved using Headline in the 2009 growing season. One grower will win the grand prize -- an ATV valued at up to $8,000. The second- and third-place winners will receive complimentary travel to the 2010 Commodity Classic show in Anaheim, Calif., and the fourth- through seventh-place winners each will win a $200 gift card to Cabela's and a Headline-branded Victorinox backpack. Complete contest rules can be found at www.planthealth.agweb.com.



"Headline is the leading product for the plant health market," Schmitz said. "By planning ahead and using Headline, growers can proactively help protect their crops from disease, stress and challenging weather conditions."



Too often, growers wait until they spot disease in their fields before spraying, which is too late to achieve superior disease control and increases the risk of yield loss. Headline improves plant health by acting on three unique areas of a plant's growth: excellent disease control, improved growth efficiency, and enhanced tolerance to stress conditions such as drought, heat, cold temperatures and ozone damage.



"Using Headline will help create healthier plants with stronger stands, improved harvestability and increased yield," Schmitz said.



Headline is the most researched fungicide on the market, with more than 6,000 farm trials conducted on well over 500,000 acres in the past seven years. In these trials, Headline was proven to increase yield advantage by 12 to 16 bushels per acre in corn, four to eight bushels per acre in soybeans and eight to 12 bushels per acre in wheat due to its excellent disease control and plant health benefits. Headline is registered for use on more than 90 crops to control more than 50 diseases.



With sales of (Euro)3,137 million in 2007, BASF's Crop Protection division is a leader in crop protection and a strong partner to the farming industry providing well-established and innovative fungicides, insecticides and herbicides. Farmers use these products and services to improve crop yields and crop quality. Other uses include public health, structural/urban pest control, turf and ornamental plants, vegetation management, and forestry. BASF aims to turn knowledge rapidly into market success. The vision of BASF's Crop Protection division is to be the world's leading innovator, optimizing agricultural production, improving nutrition, and thus enhancing the quality of life for a growing world population.



BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, N.J., is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has more than 15,000 employees in North America, and had sales of approximately $17.5 billion in 2008. BASF is the world's leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics and performance products to agricultural products, fine chemicals, as well as oil and gas.



SOURCE: BASF.