With the Weed Resistance Global Symposium, which took place from September 30 to October 2 in Paris, France, Bayer CropScience created a unique knowledge exchange platform welcoming more than 200 participants from 26 countries to discuss the challenge of herbicide resistance.
"Increasing weed resistance on a global level is a huge challenge that is too large for one company. The problem can only be solved through a holistic and sustainable approach based on knowledge exchange, collaboration and innovation", Bayer CropScience CEO Liam Condon said in his presentation. "That's why we at Bayer are driving collaborations with leading scientists and institutions to jointly develop new solutions which help farmers worldwide to combat herbicide-resistant weeds."
"Diversity in the fight against weed resistance is the only sustainable way forward. But diversity needs communication", Professor Stephen Powles, Director of Australia's Herbicide Resistance Initiative, pointed out. "Connecting growers, the industry and the scientific community requires traditional and new ways of interaction." In his presentation, Powles inspired the audience to make increasing use of live events, social media and other communication channels which help change behavior.
Weeds are a threat to farmers all over the globe. They are the single most important reason for crop losses globally causing high management costs. The number of herbicide-resistant weeds is growing fast: Even with the control measures available today, weeds destroy enough food to feed one billion people.
"Science plays an important role in propelling the future of farming. To continue innovating, we must increasingly invest in research and delelopment", Liam Condon added. "In 2015, we will invest more than EUR 1 billion in R&D with a strong focus on our integrated toolbox, combining chemical and biological crop protection products with modern breeding technologies and trait research." Bayer CropScience plans to continuously invest 9 to 10 percent of its annual sales in R&D in the years to come.
The symposium offered a forum for the discussion and exchange of experiences regarding practical Integrated Weed Management (IWM) solutions. 48 expert speakers from across the world - growers, advisors, academics and industry researchers - provided insights into the global status of weed resistance, its agronomical impact, current and upcoming challenges, solution approaches and latest research findings.
Get an overview of all live tweets, posts and videos from the Symposium in Paris on our live event page: http://www.weed-resistance-symposium.bayer.com/Live-Event.aspx
Bayer lWM program launched in Paris
At the Weed Resistance Global Symposium in Paris, Bayer officially launched its IWM program. It is a combination of three components designed to enhance farmers' productivity and secure food supplies in the long term: The program offers customized solutions for weed control through cutting-edge seeds, crop protection products and services; it promotes best management practices in local intiatives; and it is based on constant innovation and the latest scientific insights, exemplified by the company's many partnerships across the entire value chain.
"The aim of our IWM strategies is to reduce weed pressure and keep weeds within acceptable levels which make it easier for herbicides to function properly and reduce the selection pressure for resistance," said Christine Brunel-Ligneau, Head of Bayer's IWM program. "Farmers need to be encouraged to keep herbicide technologies effective by varying between different crop protection products and practices, and combining them with non-chemical measures such as crop rotation and soil cultivation in order to combat the build-up of resistance."
Get more information on Bayer's Integrated Weed Management Program here:
Global center for weed resistance management successfully implemented
A fundamental pillar of Bayer's scientific approach to Integrated Weed Management is the Weed Resistance Competence Center (WRCC) in Frankfurt, Germany, where Bayer's herbicide research activities are concentrated.
"The Weed Resistance Competence Center is the backbone of our IWM program. We bring our results from the labs to test fields in countries around the world, where we then carry out more research together with our local organizations," said Harry Strek, Head of the WRCC. "All our weed control research activities take a comprehensive and future-oriented approach, and our aim is to provide farmers all over the world with new diagnostic tests, herbicides with new modes of action, and a wider choice of high-performing herbicide tolerance traits - all bundled together in sustainable programs." For a virtual tour of the WRCC simply visit our Bigger Picture at http://wrcc.thebiggerpicture.bayer.com/
Learn more about Bayer's activities at the Weed Resistance Competence Center in an article - including a video featuring Stephen Powles - on Farming's Future: