The future of agriculture starts here! Pillar: Seeds and genetic characteristics
Thanasis Tsoutsas' interview in Agrenda.
BASF is now present in the seed market as well. Can you share more information with us?
Following the acquisition of 2018, BASF acquired all of Bayer's FiberMax® & Stoneville® cotton seeds, InVigor® rapeseed and vegetable seeds under the global Nunhems® brand. It has recently entered the market of sunflower and rice seeds of the renowned Clearfield® technology while at the same time rice seeds of the new Provisia® technology are expected.
Can you explain the developments per crop?
In the cultivation of cotton, BASF now offers combined and integrated solutions, with a complete portfolio of cotton seeds and a strong portfolio of crop protection products. The top varieties of FiberMax® are synonymous with high and stable yields, stress resistance, excellent fiber performance and quality, and recognizability throughout the cotton value chain.
The portfolio strengthens the well – known Stoneville® name and since last year the new Stoneville® variety, Olivia. Olivia stands out for its very high potential in seed cotton production, the presence of fluffy foliage, its excellent collecting behavior after rainy conditions, and its excellent adaptability to a variety of soils.
The continuous R&D (Research & Development) of new varieties, is a commitment of BASF in the cultivation of cotton, so that FiberMax® and Stoneville® varieties, as well as Certified Sustainable FiberMax® (CSF) product, are the first choice for the Greek cotton growers and provide solutions to their needs.
For sixth consecutive year, Certified Sustainable FiberMax® (CSF) program, certifies, controls, and promotes cotton, fiber and yarn produced from FiberMax® cotton varieties in an environmentally responsible, economically viable, socially equitable production. The purpose of BASF and its partners in the program, is to add value to the cotton produced and create a branded product to support the Greek cotton grower and the whole cotton value chain.
Our portfolio of energy crop hybrids includes rapeseed under the renowned name InVigor® and sunflower under the new InSun™ brand.
The name InVigor® has been established for years in European markets and in Greek industry is synonymous with good performance, stability, reliability and high oil content. This year, three new InVigor® hybrids were launched.
In the sunflower market we have already placed five hybrids under the new brand InSun™. InSun™ hybrids incorporate BASF Clearfield® & Clearfield® Plus technology, combining advanced genetics and crop protection. They meet the requirements of the Greek farmer and industry for high yields, stability, reliability, disease resistance and high oil content. While from 2022 we plan the pilot release of the first High Oleic hybrid, InSun™ 200 HO CLP.
In the cultivation of rice, the distribution of domestically produced rice seed has started successfully. The planning includes the expansion of the portfolio with import of seed, which will be invested and packaged locally, as well as the pilot test of the new Provisia technology, to solve the problem of red rice. Finally, it includes the pilot implementation of the new Certified Clearfield Rice (CCR) program, for tracking the seeds, aiming to highlight the value of usage of certified seed and its contribution to the formation of a better final product.
Since October 2020, in the cultivation of vegetables, BASF Hellas undertook the distribution of Nunhems® varieties, a pilot project worldwide for BASF, strengthening the integrated solutions it offers to the Greek producer. Nunhems® has more than 1,200 varieties on the world market for 24 different crops, to offer specialized solutions to all links in the food chain.
What do you think about the future of Greek agriculture?
The future of agriculture starts here and includes innovative, combined, and integrated solutions from seed to harvest, which facilitate and strengthen farmers. Moreover, it is already considered necessary to create seeds and genetic characteristics that meet the requirements of the Greek grower and industry, for high yields, stability and resistance to disease and stress conditions.
More specifically, we need to invest in solutions that help increase production, enhance crop resilience to extreme conditions and reduce the ecological footprint of agricultural activities. Accordingly, we must combine our efforts with the digital transformation of agriculture and take advantage of every new proposal.
Agriculture requires combinations of solutions and innovation at all levels. And we are here to contribute to this effort. The future of agriculture starts here!