BASF Awards Innovation Prize to CLEARFIELD
Improves growers choices and efficiency Optimizes crop quality and yield Ludwigshafen, Germany- In its eighth year of publicly recognizing outstanding innovations that have been implemented successfully and provide superior benefits to its customers, on May 16, 2001 BASF awarded prize honors to the CLEARFIELD* Production System. CLEARFIELD was one of three BASF projects honored in 2001. Used by farmers throughout the world where registrations have been obtained, the CLEARFIELDŽ Production System is a combination of custom designed BASF herbicides and conventionally developed seeds that are tolerant to those herbicides. CLEARFIELD herbicides provide broad-spectrum weed control from planting through harvest, often with only one application. Using this system growers can optimize time, labor, and resources to realize the maximum potential of their crops. In addition, the CLEARFIELD Production System offers growers a non-GMO choice over other herbicide tolerant systems. BASF possesses the largest portfolio of non-GMO herbicide tolerant traits. "This year, we are again honoring projects that promise to make a substantial contribution to BASF's future business. The winning projects are original, were put into practice in a professional manner and of course increase BASF's profitability," said Dr. Stefan Marcinowski, member of BASF's Board of Executive Directors and Research Executive Director. " I'm very pleased, that after Epoxiconazol in 1993 and Kresoxim-methyl in 1996 this is the third time an Agricultural Products project is honored with the Innovation Prize," says Hans W. Reiners, President of the Agricultural Products division. "To me this is another striking example that our motto 'Cultivating Innovation. Creating Value' is lived throughout our organization - from research and development through production to marketing and sales." To obtain high yields in crops such as corn, wheat or rice, they must be protected from weeds, fungi and insect pests. Farmers treat plants with a variety of crop protection products that have to be applied at different times. This costs both time and money. In those regions where it has been registered for use, the CLEARFIELD Production System offers an alternative that makes both economic and ecological sense: The system is a combination of imidazolinone herbicides and seeds that are tolerant to these herbicides. The herbicide acts when it comes into direct contact with weeds and a single application prevents weeds from germinating again throughout the entire growing season. The CLEARFIELD Production System includes herbicides based on imidazolinones, which have been on the market for more than 10 years. These active ingredients are used primarily in soybeans, peanuts and other legumes, since these crops are naturally tolerant to these herbicides. However, imidazolinones also act against many other weeds and crops by specifically influencing an important enzyme that is responsible for the synthesis of a complex amino acid. Weeds can acquire resistance to herbicides as a result of natural mutations. This property of plants is used by BASF researchers to produce seeds that are tolerant to imidazolinones. Scientists trigger gene mutations in cultivated plants and cross these plants with one another several times. By using these traditional breeding methods, researchers obtain daughter generations with a variety of characteristics. In some plants, the mutations result in an alteration of the very enzyme against which the imidazolinones act and the plant is therefore resistant to the herbicide. The first CLEARFIELD Production System was launched in the United States in 1992 for corn. New CLEARFIELD seed lines are being developed and sold in worldwide partnerships with more than 100 seed companies, in particular for wheat, rice, sunflower and canola. The group of imidazolinones consists of six active ingredients. As a result, BASF can offer custom-designed products that best control typical weeds in a particular crop or region. In the coming years, BASF will launch several CLEARFIELD systems and expects them to yield annual sales of approximately $300 million. The other two projects awarded with this year's prize were the "three-liter house," a prime example of how to refurbish older buildings to provide low-energy, environmentally-friendly and cost-effective housing, and NeoporŽ, a new class of thermal insulating materials. The Innovation Prize was awarded on May 16 at a meeting of BASF's international senior executives in Wachenheim near Ludwigshafen. "The projects we have honored can serve as role models for countless other ideas that will initiate growth and innovation in the years to come," said Board member Dr. Stefan Marcinowski when presenting the award BASF's Agricultural Products Division, based in Mount Olive, New Jersey, U.S.A., is a leading supplier and marketer of herbicides, fungicides and insecticides. The division's principal products are sold mainly to farmers who use them to improve crop yields and quality. Based on broad experience in R&D, manufacturing, marketing, and sales expertise, the BASF Agricultural Products division vision 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 is a transnational chemical company that aims to increase and sustain its corporate value through growth and innovation. The company's product range includes high-value chemicals, plastics, colorants and pigments, dispersions, automotive and industrial coatings, agricultural products and fine chemicals as well as crude oil and natural gas. BASF's approach to integration, known in German as "Verbund," is one of its particular strengths, ensuring cost leadership and a unique competitive advantage. With sales in 2000 of about Euro 36 billion (circa USD 34 billion) and a workforce of 103,000 employees, BASF is one of the world's leading chemical companies. BASF acts in accordance with the principles of Sustainable Development. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and New York (BF). The company's Internet address is www.basf.com. *CLEARFIELD and NEOPOR are trademarks of BASF.