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Interview Series 2: Future Development Trends for Crop Protectionqrcode

−− Interview with Kathleen Shelton, Global R&D Director, FMC Agricultural Solutions

Mar. 5, 2018

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Mar. 5, 2018
Nowadays it takes roughly 11 years beginning from research and development of a novel active ingredient up to release of pesticide to market, at a cost of $286 million, which is 55 percent higher versus 10 years ago. Research and development of novel active ingredients are getting more difficult, which is well recognized among the industry beyond dispute. What's the development trends of crop protection products in the future?

Q1: One of the most trends in the last few years has been watching the growth of new active ingredients become slow. How do you look at this? What do you think the main development direction of new pesticide over the next 10 years? New active ingredients or new formulations?

Kathleen Shelton: The hurdle for new active ingredients has always been high as the molecules must have compelling biological activity to growers as well as meet stringent and specific requirements for registration. New pesticides will be expected to meet ever increasing regulatory requirements as well, though the need for new active ingredients will remain because resistant pests will also occur. Growers will be relying on new innovative products to combat resistance as well as look for products with improved attributes. New formulations also will be valuable to growers to enhance or improve activity. So, growers will need innovation in all areas.
Q2: It is inevitable and necessary to explore biopesticides to replace chemical pesticides gradually in agriculture in order to meet the need of environmental protection and sustainable development. What should we do at this moment to manage the relationships of chemical pesticides and biopesticides? How do you think the combination of chemical pesticides and biopesticides?
Kathleen Shelton: Growers need multiple tools to control pests and avoid pest resistance occurring for as long as possible. New molecules with different modes of action help growers to achieve these goals. These new molecules can be a biopesticide or a chemical pesticide. Both types of molecules have advantages for the grower and the grower will have choices determined by the crops, pests they need to control, and biology of these molecules. At FMC, we are investing in both Plant Health molecules that are biologically derived as well as molecules that are chemically synthesized. We believe we can best meet growers’ needs by having both of these products available.
Q3: Could you reveal something about the new R&D products and the planning of the new product launches program in the next 5 years in FMC?
Kathleen Shelton: We are excited about FMC’s pipeline as well as the pipeline we acquired from the transaction with DuPont. Our Plant Health platform is also investing in new molecules we expect to bring to market. So, FMC has multiple sources of new products for growers in the next few years.

For more interviews and articles, please download Annual Review 2017

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