19 October 2021, Germany: Bayer today announced continued progress in delivering customer-focused, sustainable agricultural innovation in an update with investors. The company’s success in translating research and development (R&D) leadership into differentiated and advanced products for farmers is driving operational performance, while shaping the future of agriculture. Progress is being powered by strong commercial execution in a positive market environment, particularly in fungicides and herbicides.
“As the leader in agricultural input sales, profitability and R&D investment, we have delivered on commercial milestones that will advance our leadership, further increasing confidence in our ability to achieve our goals,” said Liam Condon, member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG and President of the Crop Science Division. “Our leading commercial portfolio, digital platform and unmatched innovation are driving significant value for our grower customers. We are confident that the convergence of our technology platforms to drive more customer-centric solutions will deliver above market sales growth and leading profitability as we look out to 2024.”
Innovation leadership fueling strong market position
Bayer is further strengthening its market position through recently commercialized innovations. For example, in the key North American market, Bayer has defended its position as the number one soybean weed control system provider with its Roundup Ready Xtend® Crop System.
Bayer is successfully upgrading its Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® footprint with XtendFlex® soybeans, which have already reached approximately 15 million acres this year. This latest offering adds glufosinate tolerance to provide additional weed-control flexibility. Farmers chose to plant these two trait offerings on more than 55% of the U.S. soybean acres this year. Bayer expects to continue to upgrade soybean acres to XtendFlex® in the U.S. in the years ahead, thanks to the proven yield benefits and exceptional weed control. In Brazil, the launch of its new Intacta 2 Xtend® soy on approximately 600,000 acres is currently underway, as the company upgrades its leading soybean trait platform in South America. Built on the performance of first-generation Intacta, Intacta 2 Xtend® adds two proteins for insect control, which is important for insect resistance management, as well as tolerance to dicamba. The demonstrated performance advantage of the technology is significant for farmers, delivering approximately three bushels per acre more compared to similar varieties that are in the market.
Bayer is supplementing this continued sales momentum in Brazil with fungicides by upgrading its Fox Franchise with Fox® Xpro Fungicide. To date, Fox® Xpro has been a key driver of its global sales in fungicides, which rose 22% on a currency- and portfolio-adjusted basis in the first half of the fiscal year. With 25% market share in soybean fungicides in Brazil, Bayer plans to upgrade this product in 2022 with the launch of Fox Supra, further expanding its leading position in this highly important market, with a peak sales potential of more than €500 million.
In corn, the company is introducing its corn rootworm 3 (CRW3) technology as part of SmartStax® PRO, and the sales rollout for the 2022 launch in the U.S. is underway. This year’s field trials brought to light the upgraded product’s better stands and stronger roots. In fact, hybrids with the SmartStax® PRO technology demonstrated a 97%-win rate in the field.
“This is a particularly timely introduction and we expect it to be well-received by growers following increased rootworm pressure this summer in the U.S.,” added Condon. “Not only did SmartStax and SmartStax® PRO perform well, but we were particularly pleased with how these products performed compared to competitive alternatives.”
The company anticipates transitioning its 15-million-acre trait SmartStax footprint in the U.S. over the next few years to this new CRW3 technology. Innovations like this protect corn yield, which is made possible by top-performing germplasm. This helps sustain the company’s leading market positions in the top corn markets around the world.
Leading the digital transformation of agriculture and setting new standards in sustainability
Bayer is also expanding its industry-leading Climate FieldView™ digital agriculture platform – now being used on more than 180 million subscribed acres across 23 countries. The company is also seeing increased sales of its own products among FieldView™ users.
The connectivity from these acres, including logging information from planters, sprayers and combines, is helping farmers make data-driven decisions and optimize yield while lowering the environmental footprint of their farming operations.
FieldView™ is also expected to enable a simple, robust, scalable process to measure, verify and report on practices that sequester carbon. In the first year of its Carbon Initiative, Bayer enrolled more than 2,500 FieldView™ users in carbon farming trials in the U.S. and Brazil alone.
“With carbon markets worth more than $200 billion annually, we are leading the way in helping make carbon farming a reality through our global Carbon Initiative,” added Condon. “By incentivizing farmers to adopt climate smart practices, as well as future products that yield more and sequester more carbon, we are creating new value opportunities for the farmer and our company.”