Bayer CropScience puts innovations on display at World Potato Congress

Bayer CropScience presented its latest innovations and contributions for sustainable potato production at the World Potato Congress that wrapped up Thursday in China.

Bayer CropScience representatives, acting on the theme titled "Innovating Together for Sustainable Potatoes," presented recent product novelties and new approaches that underline the role of Bayer CropScience as the innovation leader in its field.

“At Bayer we are fully committed to delivering on our mission statement ‘Science For A Better Life’ by sharing our vast expertise and providing new technologies to farmers,” Bayer CropScience Global Potato Manager Albert Schirring said. “Our core competencies lie in developing and supplying integrated crop solutions that are locally adapted and tailored to the individual needs of our customers, who are mainly farmers but also include other stakeholders along the potato value chain. The common goal is to help drive a sustainable productivity increase and to improve crop quality.”

Bayer CropScience supports potato farmers worldwide in their efforts to produce high-yielding and premium-quality potatoes in a sustainable way. 

The company offers integrated, tailor-made crop solutions comprising effective chemical and biological crop protection products. It also offers specialized crop consultancy and  service and support in environmental protection. 

The Ninth World Potato Congress was held Tuesday through Thursday at the Badaling International Conference and Exhibition Center near Beijing. 

“I am very excited about the World Potato Congress taking place in China this year. With the Chinese central government’s decision to position potatoes as an alternative staple food, the crop is expected to play an important role in safeguarding the domestic food supply,” Country Head of Bayer CropScience in China Rob Hulme said. “The country is already today the largest producer of potatoes worldwide and potato cultivation still has huge untapped potential in terms of quantity and quality. Apart from contributing to Chinese food security and more diversity in diets, higher consumption of the tuber crop could help promote long-term sustainability of the local agriculture. Compared to other staple crops, growing potatoes is less demanding in terms of water requirements and relies much less on irrigation,” he said.

And, to address the individual needs of farmers around the world, Bayer CropScience can draw on a strong and modern portfolio of crop protection products. Among the key innovations presented at the congress was the seed treatment product Emesto - a high performing fungicide to manage tuber and soil diseases.

Bayer CropScience also demonstrated Movento, an innovative tool to provide sustainable control of the Zebra disease vectored by psyllids and Velum, as a powerful tool for control of nematodes with a favorable safety and environmental profile offering long-lasting control at slight application rates.

In addition, the control of pest and diseases with biological products holds significant potential. A recent company innovation in this field, the biological fungicide Serenade, enhances Integrated Pest Management systems and provides a new tool in resistance management when used in combination or rotation with chemicals.

Other important benefits include short preharvest and re-entry intervals providing high flexibility in application timing for farmers.

To assist potato farmers on a daily basis, Bayer CropScience can call upon a large network of agronomists around the world to provide expertise in production practices. In this way, the company helps ensure that quality standards in potato cultivation are high and are continuously improved.

Dedicated teams with a deep understanding of specific regional growing conditions provide tailored agronomic support and training on safe use and good agricultural practices to farmers and support them in acquiring specialist know-how and skills to better serve the needs of the value chain.

Besides assisting farmers in the field, Bayer CropScience fosters stronger links along the supply chain in promoting sustainable agriculture. In its Food Chain Partnership projects, the company brings together farmers, traders, processors and retailers for the benefit of all partners involved and ultimately the consumer at home.

Building on the company’s profound agronomic knowledge and value chain expertise, the common goal of the Food Chain Partnership initiatives is to improve yields and the quality of the harvested produce, helping to drive a productivity and efficiency increase based on sustainable agricultural practices. Customers and partners benefit from efficient traceability systems, support for global certification and extensive market access know-how.

Farming Plus, an innovative service tool used in Food Chain Partnership projects with farmers worldwide, allows users to measure and monitor the sustainability performance of existing grower practices against a set of economic, environmental and social criteria.

Direct interactions with growers and partners promote the continuous improvement of production practices on and beyond the farm towards greater sustainability.

There are more than 5,000 potato varieties around the world and they grow in almost all kinds of climate conditions: from the cold Andean slopes to the tropical plains in Asia. The tuber is increasingly being used for processing as french fries, dumplings or croquettes as these products become more and more popular.

Improved crop management around the globe is promoting continuous productivity gains. The total world production of potatoes in 2013 was estimated at 376 million tons, representing an increase of more than 20 percent over the last two decades. As the largest producer of potatoes, China accounts for more than 25 percent of the world’s production. With a comparably low average productivity rate of approximately 17 tons per hectare, the country still has great potential relative to Europe (30 tons per hectare) and the U.S. (more than 40 tons per hectare) to further enhance its yields.

The World Potato Congress takes place every three years. It provides a unique opportunity for around 900 growers, traders, processors as well as scientists around the globe to share insights and uncover vital new knowledge with a focus on both local and international needs and best practices. Under the theme ‘Develop together for a better future’ the congress offers an extensive program of plenary sessions, symposia and field tours as a platform for information exchange, trade and cooperation.

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of seeds, crop protection and nonagricultural pest control. The company offers a range of products including high value seeds, innovative crop protection solutions based on chemical and biological modes of action as well as an extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture. Bayer CropScience has a broad portfolio of products and services to control pests from home and garden to forestry applications. The company has a global workforce of 23,100 and is represented in more than 120 countries.

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