Well before a new product reaches growers’ fields, it goes through years of research, development and review. The process spans many organizations, taps countless resources and requires dedication from everyone involved. It is a vital path toward innovation in agriculture and it ends with helpful tools for growers.
The road to product registration is not always a direct route, as it often includes a multitude of detours, forks and U-turns. In the early stages of product development, BASF researchers screen more than 100,000 potential chemistries to find the one that best solves a problem at hand. That process alone can take years, but it’s an important stop in the journey.
Take BAPMA: a molecule that came from this development process and is now paired with dicamba as the fundamental chemistry of Engenia™ herbicide from BASF. Engenia herbicide, the most flexible and advanced dicamba for dicamba-tolerant soybean and cotton cropping systems, entered product development in 2008 and is made possible by this proprietary dicamba-BAPMA salt formulation. Today, Engenia herbicide helps address a rising issue of glyphosate resistance by providing an additional, effective site of action to broadleaf weed control. However, it began in the lab with one dicamba breakthrough.
Following initial discovery of a new chemistry, BASF and other organizations conduct vigorous testing to fine-tune the product. Having a wide range of expertise during such intensive processes goes a long way. BASF leverages more than 150 years of experience and invests more than $1 million per day in crop protection R&D—relying on a seasoned team of molecular biologists, agronomists, engineers and chemists—to move products along the research and development pipeline.
From greenhouse plot trials to field tests, products are evaluated under different conditions to identify optimum use. Details like application rate, timing and product pairings are developed during this stage. After years of evaluation and data collection, all pertinent information is packaged and submitted to regulatory bodies as the final stop on the road to registration.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reviews all new crop protection products before they are approved for use. Using a specific set of guidelines and considering years of compiled data, the EPA assesses whether or not a product is ready for public use. The EPA also opens up a public comment period to garner feedback from the general population. This extensive evaluation process helps bring growers the most effective chemistries possible as well as finalizes all use requirements.
After receiving a stamp of approval from the EPA, a product is officially registered.
As the road to registration ends, the road to preservation begins. Stewardship is essential to manage weed resistance and preserve the land for future generations. Strategies like maximizing on-target applications and taking a comprehensive approach to weed control are among the key stewardship best practices. Growers can learn more about these and other strategies, as well as the latest information about Engenia herbicide, by visiting engeniaherbicide.com.
Always read and follow label directions.
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