Agrochemicals giant Bayer is set to launch at least seven new pesticide products, including a new SDHI fungicide product and a nematicide, over the next two to three years.
The group, which sell products like Aviator and Atlantis, is hoping to introduce four new herbicides and an insecticide as well as the SDHI and the nematode killer depending on the official approval process.
Global research chief Adrian Percy is also expecting high-yielding hybrid wheats in the next decade and also biopesticides with broad uses across a number of crops.
“UK growers can look forward to a number of new products within the next two to three years, and then more beyond,” he tells Farmers Weekly on a visit to London from the group’s headquarters in Monheim in Germany.
The new SDHI product is hoped to be launched for the 2017 season following the group’s first SDHI product Aviator in 2012, while a new nematicide in 2018 could be particularly useful after supply problems with Vydate.
- Aviator – SDHI bixafen + azole prothioconazole
- Atlantis – iodosulfuron + mesosulfuron
- Liberator – diflufenican + flufencet
- Vydate – oxamyl
Dr Percy talked about an “explosion of technology” bringing forward new products in all three areas of the German group’s business – agrochemicals, seeds and biopesticides.
The company spends about one billion euros a year on research and development, and has about 4,800 scientists working worldwide on new products for which it hopes to win regulatory approval.
The new SDHI fungicide product expected to be launched next year for use on wheat, and will be a mix of two SDHIs and the azole prothioconazole.
The new product is expected to be more effective than existing SDHIs and comes when the first indications of septoria disease resistance to SDHIs are being seen.
“Each generation of SDHIs will have better efficacy, and we are not in the business of producing me-too products,” says Dr Percy.
The group says it has a further new SDHI which is further down its pipeline.
Nematicides and insecticides
A new nematicide for use in potatoes and carrots is hoped to be launched in 2018, and comes at a time of a severe shortage of Vydate due to an accident at DuPont’s US production plant.
Dr Percy describes the new Bayer nematicide, which controls potato cyst nematodes and free-living nematodes, as an “environmentally friendly” product.
A new insecticide to control aphids is planned for launch in 2018 for use in root and vegetable crops, including potatoes and peas.
The new active flupyradifurone is from a new class of insecticides and has a good “environmental profile”, while the active is already available in the US and some other countries.
Four new herbicides are in the pipeline with three set to give improved blackgrass control and extra broadleaved weed control over existing Bayer products Atlantis and Liberator.
These three will be based on existing chemistry with the new post-emergence option set for launch in autumn 2016, while there is another post-emergence product and then a pre-emergence herbicide coming later.
The other product is one that is planned to be used on herbicide-tolerant sugar beet varieties being produced by plant breeder KWS, within a growing system branded Conviso Smart.
The varieties have natural tolerance a specific ALS (acetolactate synthase) inhibitor herbicide, and the growing system could be available in 2019 offering beet growers a new herbicide to tackle troublesome weeds.
Hybrids and seed
Dr Percy says hybrid wheats are expected to be launched in the early 2020’s with high yields while they will be better able to cope with a range of climatic conditions than conventional varieties.
“We see stronger and higher yielding wheats in Europe in the early 2020s,” he says.
The group, which has bred Harper and Fencer oilseed rape varieties, is also hoping to introduce pod-shatter resistance into its future varieties.
This trait comes from Bayer varieties in North America and is expected to be incorporated into European varieties in the next few years.