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Giving Every Seed Every Advantage - Dialogue with Three Leads at BASFqrcode

Aug. 25, 2021

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Aug. 25, 2021


BASF has been working hard to bring market-leading innovation to help growers make the most of their seed investments. AgroPages got the chance to speak with three leads at BASF’s seed treatment department.


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Brad May

Vice President, Global Strategic Marketing Seed Treatments



Can you tell us about BASF’s full seed treatment offering?


At BASF, we understand that farmers have the biggest job on Earth, and they need their seeds to work hard as well. For that reason, we’ve developed a diverse portfolio of market-leading seed treatments that deliver what local growers need for their individual farms – no matter where they are across the globe. 


Our fully integrated seed treatment portfolio offers the most diversified line of products, along with robust formulations, so growers can improve their crop performance and protect their investment. From fungicide and insecticide chemistry and inoculants to advanced biologicals, nematode management, and coatings and colorants, our products protect seeds from germination to emergence, promote early-season vigor, limit disease and insect pressure, and provide tested plant health benefits, including improved cold and drought tolerance. 


Within our ranks at BASF, we have the industry’s leading seed treatment specialists and decades of pioneering research, which helps us connect innovative thinking and practical action toward our primary goal: giving every seed every advantage. We are proud to offer a wide range of seed treatments to protect and enhance seed investments around the world.


Where does BASF stand out in the market as it pertains to seed treatment?


As previously mentioned, our diverse portfolio sets us apart. We are constantly researching and innovating to either expand our current offerings or develop new solutions. As a result, we have the No. 1 best-selling global corn insecticide seed treatment in Poncho Votivo, as well as the No. 1 best-selling soybean SDS fungicide seed treatment in ILEVO and a best-selling cereal T1 fungicide seed treatment in Systiva.


Aside from our product offerings, our commitment to customer service is also one of our key differentiators. We understand that no matter where you are, farming is tough work, and each day brings a new challenge. We put customers at the center of our attention and decisions, and work to add maximum value for them. Seed treatment is just the start of a strong relationship between BASF and our customer: Day after day, our seed treatment specialists are available to answer questions, make recommendations, and see farmers through every stage of the growing season. Seeds are the most important investment a farmer can make, so we are there with them every step of the way to help them balance seed performance, profitability, and sustainability. And we back up those individual actions by building our solutions with a crop system view, providing an integrated package of crop management solutions beyond a single portfolio element. 



【Video】Seed treatments from BASF – Giving seeds every advantage


What do you envision for the future of farming, particularly as it pertains to seed treatment?


Going forward, high demand for sustainable agriculture in the global market and its role as an insurance for seed investments will be important drivers for the growth of the seed treatment portfolio. More specifically, we will work to improve existing formulations where needed, develop fungicides with a broader disease treatment spectrum, more specialized insecticides, and new chemical nematicides.


What are some of your seed treatment sustainability initiatives?


As an agriculture division, BASF has committed to clear and measurable targets to boost sustainable agriculture by 2030. Focusing on the biggest levers that will make agriculture more sustainable and contribute to the most pressing needs of society, BASF will work toward helping farmers achieve a 30% reduction in CO2 emissions per ton of crop produced, annually increasing sales share of solutions with a substantial sustainability contribution in the value chain by 7%, bringing digital technologies to more than 400 million hectares of farmland, and continuing to ensure the safe use of BASF’s products with the right stewardship. Our Seed Treatment solutions play an important role in advancing these sustainability targets. Seed treatments employ a highly targeted and precise approach to pest and disease control, which, in turn, has less of an impact on the surrounding environment and helps farmers accomplish more with less.


BASF offers market-leading seed treatment brands in the following crops:


  • Corn – Poncho, Poncho Votivo, Poncho Votivo 2.0

  • Soybean – Ilevo, Standak Top, HiCoat Super, Vault IP Plus

  • Cereals – Systiva, Teraxxa, Kinto Plus, Insure Perform, Stamina F4

  • Cotton – Acronis Green, Copeo, Standak Top

  • Oilseed Rape – Poncho, Poncho Plus, Integral Pro

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BASF also offers marketleading seed coating brands in the following crops:


  • Corn – Sepiret, Flo Rite

  • Soybean – Flo Rite

  • Cereals – Sepiret

  • Cotton – Secompla, Sepiret

  • Oilseed Rape – Sepiret, Color Film



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Andrea van der Velde, PhD

Head of Global Supply Chain Seed Treatment, Agricultural Solutions



How has the supply chain been affected by COVID-19?


The COVID-19 pandemic has posed significant challenges for our seed treatment supply chain globally. The combination of various and ongoing national lockdowns, the Suez Canal blockage, and shipping capacity issues across the globe slowed or even temporarily stopped the flow of raw materials. Of course, this meant shortages in finished goods and disrupted manufacturing, as well. Most of these issues were not new challenges to the shipping industry, but the unfortunate timing of them all was, thankfully, novel. However, with strong communication and alignment with all supply chain stakeholders around the globe, we were able to work through these challenges while providing the transparency, flexibility, and reliability that our valued customers expect.


Can you tell us what exciting new initiatives may be on the horizon for BASF’s Seed Treatment supply chain?


Just like many other parts of our business, much of the change is being driven by new digital capabilities. Our traditional supply chain model is transforming into a digital supply network. These new connections give our staff and their customers end-to-end supply tracking capabilities, ensure that we stay agile in an ever-changing market and help us identify and act on opportunities for growth through a digital supply chain.


With these new digital items added to our toolbox, we can continue to innovate with customers and provide a truly sustainable supply chain. And we can’t forget that it is also important to constantly put our teams at the center of our efforts and empower them to do extraordinary things.



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Piran Cargeeg

R&D Global & U.S. Seed Treatment, Third Party and Inoculant Lead



What is something your team is excited about in the coming years?


We are very excited about the future of biologicals. For BASF, biological crop protection is an important technology and will continue to gain importance as a complement to chemical solutions. Several of our BioSolutions are already registered or have been submitted for registration in multiple countries. For example: Available in the U.S. for use on corn, the Poncho Votivo 2.0 Seed Treatment system, comprised of Bacillus firmus I-1582, clothianidin, and B. thuringiensis strain EX297512, includes a systemic insecticide and a revolutionary biological component (Bt. EX297512) that enhances the microbial activity within the plant root rhizosphere, resulting in increased nutrient uptake and higher yield potential. The treatment also uses a distinctive bacteria strain to create a living barrier that prevents damage from nematodes and promotes root and plant growth.


Another BioSolutions launch for the US market is Vault IP Plus, a dual biological fungicide and an inoculant seed treatment for soybeans.


In other worldwide markets, RhizoFlo and HiStick inoculants continue to do well. Soy seeds inoculated with the selected strains in those two products have shown higher yields, increased seed protein content and improved crop uniformity. These treatments can be used on the seed or applied in furrow, and are cost effective to farmers, even in soils with a natural rhizobial population.


We recognize that one of the greatest global challenges we face is how to balance growing the crops we need with the needs of our planet. Part of the solution is taking an integrated approach to agronomic practices and crop protection. For this reason, we are elevating our focus on our BioSolutions portfolio, which plays a vital role in strengthening integrated pest management strategies and serves to complement our traditional chemistry seed treatment solutions. Today we are proud to be the largest provider of biological solutions for seed treatments globally, and the future for biologicals looks promising. This is why we are expanding our own production capacity for biologicals so that we can meet our customers where they are through R&D and production sites in 10 countries.



【Video】Seed Coatings by BASF: See the Benefits



This article was initially published in AgroPages' '2021 Seed Treatment Special' magazine.


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