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Bayer, BASF eye substantial, sustainable growth in agricultural products

German majors plan to raise spending on R&D

by Alex Scott
October 3, 2019 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 97, Issue 39


Computer-generated aerial image of crop health.
Credit: Bayer
Bayer is using digital tools to reduce the in-field environmental impact of its crop protection products.

Bayer says its crop protection division has products with the potential to generate peak sales of $33 billion over the next decade, more than half of which will come from either recently or soon to be launched products. Bayer says the division, Crop Science, will spend an average $2.7 billion annually on R&D over the next 10 years, up from $2.5 billion in 2018.

One of Crop Science’s goals is to reduce the environmental impact of its crop protection products—including in-field greenhouse gas emissions—by 30% by 2030. Some of that improvement will come from data science and innovative digital tools, according to Bayer. “Agriculture needs to feed a growing world without starving the planet,” Crop Science president Liam Condon said at a Bayer event to discuss the future of farming.

Meanwhile, BASF’s $7 billion acquisition of various Bayer agrochemical and seed businesses in 2018—driven by Bayer’s need to meet regulatory requirements for its acquisition of Monsanto—appears to be paying off. BASF says it is targeting a 50% increase in agriculture product sales and annual pretax profit growth of 5%, both by 2030. The firm’s 2018 agriculture sales were about $7 billion.

BASF says its agriculture-related R&D spending this year will be about $1 billion, up from $780 million in 2018. It expects to launch over 30 new products by 2028 with peak annual sales potential of more than $6.5 billion. BASF says it, like Bayer, seeks to develop products that benefit both farmers and the environment, including products that mitigate weather-related risks.



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