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Biologicals

 

Scientific innovations for better farming

Biological plant protection products are beneficial crop production and protection substances that come in a range of forms and employ a variety of different names to describe them. They are largely created from living organisms, either derived from natural materials or contain them, or use naturally occurring processes. In many situations they complement nature’s own defences to help protect plants against pests and diseases while in others they reduce reliance on conventional crop protection products by allowing them to be used more strategically, such as in times of high pressure.

For Bayer, biological crop protection products are an important part of our commitment to promote the sustainable nature of food production while encouraging diversity in modern farming practices. Our collection of more than 125,000 microbial strains allows us to use genetic diversity to develop new and beneficial products for farmers around the world.

Microbial products

Microbes are a fundamental part of nature. In fact, most soil is saturated with microorganisms, a tablespoon of soil could contain as many as 50 billion of them.

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Microbes have also been used in our food for thousands of years, from bread to cheese, yogurt, beer, wine, vinegar, soy sauce, sauerkraut, and even the preparation of chocolate. In agriculture, products are being developed that contain microbes and can be applied to the surface of seeds or the soil, plant foliage, fruit or other produce to complement – or provide an alternative to – conventional chemical products.

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Our research aims to discover more about how microbes can help farmers grow healthier crops and improve their harvests. Our scientists spend years studying which microbial strains will most help plants thrive, and the conditions needed to promote performance. Each year, our researchers screen more than 10,000 microbes in vitro.

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Ideal characteristics for Biologicals include...

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The use of microbial products can shape the outcome of a harvest just as easily as a farmer’s choice of seed or fertiliser. For example, farmers can decide to use a microbial product that grows as their crops’ roots grow, which can increase the availability of valuable nutrients, such as phosphate or nitrogen, that plants need to thrive.

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Incorporating biological products in a programme requires an appreciation for what makes them different and their limitations.

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Bayer's Biological Portfolio

Biologicals: Symbiosis in Crop Protection

Bayer's biological offerings include products based on beneficial microbes or fungi and can help prevent harmful diseases and pests while contributing to plant health and positively affecting yield. In West Sacramento, California, Bayer's Biologics research team focuses on understanding the complex relationships between plants and beneficial microbes to enable the development of products to complement traditional farming strategies.

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CropTec Innovation Series: Episode 2 - Biologicals

Imagine spending $50 every minute for 11 years! That’s what the crop protection industry does to develop cutting edge products for farmers. While all pesticide products on the market are registered by government authorities to meet safety standards, the crop protection industry is always looking to improve the efficacy and safety of our products. Only through investment in innovation can we help farmers deal with the ever-increasing threat from crop pests, while also meeting more exacting societal expectations for pesticide products that are safe for human health and the environment. Watch the #CropTech innovation video series to discover the innovations that are changing the face of the crop protection industry.

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