BASF Expands Biological Solutions for Agriculture
BASF has expanded its production site at Littlehampton, UK, to meet growing global demand for biological solutions for agriculture and horticulture. Capacity for beneficial nematodes and inoculants has been doubled, in line with the German group’s strategy to develop solutions beyond conventional crop protection.
Beneficial nematodes are microscopic organisms that can control a diverse range of insect and slug pests. BASF’s portfolio includes six different types, including the Nemaslug and Nemasys products, each with a distinctive mode of action for customers in vegetable, horticulture and turf.
“Demand for our beneficial nematodes has increased significantly over the past five years, with 2014 being our best year to date,” said Graeme Gowling, responsible for global biologicals, marketing in Functional Crop Care. He added that BASF’s customers see an increasingly important role in using these in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs, as they are easy to apply, have a longer window of activity and can effectively control yield-robbing pests.
Additionally, the newly expanded Littlehampton site will increase the supply of inoculants from BASF worldwide and especially to Europe and Africa. These rhizobia bacteria have a symbiotic relationship with their host legume plants and produce root nodules to conduct nitrogen fixation. BASF produces biological inoculants as an ingredient for seed treatments to enhance seed health, plant vitality and yield potential.
“This development will advance our market leader position in high-quality seed treatment. Along with the production investments in Littlehampton and additional sites globally, we will continue strengthening our R&D and portfolio,” said Philipp Rosendorfer, vice president R&D Functional Crop Care.