Thursday - February 28, 2019

Conviso™ Smart: Successful licensing agreement between Bayer AG, KWS SAAT SE and MariboHilleshög

CONVISO™SMART system gives farmers a new option to make sugarbeet cultivation easier.

Monheim, February 28, 2019 – Bayer AG and KWS SAAT SE have granted MariboHilleshög a long-term license for their innovative weed control system Conviso™ Smart. With this agreement another top global sugarbeet breeder will bring the Conviso Smart technology to farmers worldwide.

Conviso Smart offers an efficient and sustainable way to control weeds in sugarbeet cultivation: classically bred sugarbeet varieties that are tolerant to a modern herbicide. In addition to the system's broad spectrum weed control, the amount of herbicide used can be significantly reduced compared to current standards.

“We are very pleased about the agreement with Bayer and KWS. We are now working full speed to incorporate this technology into our strong genetic material and are eager to present, once ready, Conviso Smart varieties to our customers, as we see great potential and benefits stemming from this innovative system,“ says Niels U. Mikkelsen, CEO of MariboHilleshög.

Sabine Stolz, Global Segment Manager at Crop Science, a division of Bayer, added: “With MariboHilleshög we have found another strong and competent partner with many years of experience in sugarbeet breeding. Together we will achieve our goal of making the benefits of the Conviso Smart system available to many farmers worldwide.“

After the successful 2018 launch in six markets - Sweden, Lithuania, Croatia, Serbia, Moldova and Ukraine - for the spring of 2019 KWS and Bayer plan to extend the launch of Conviso Smart to several additional markets such as Belarus, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Poland, The Netherlands, Turkey and Switzerland.

Dr. Peter Hofmann, member of the Executive Board of KWS, emphasizes that in view of the current regulatory pressure on crop protection products, innovations such as Conviso Smart are vital to secure the long-term competitiveness of the crop. “KWS faces the challenges of the future with the help of breeding,“ says Hofmann. “Innovative technologies such as Conviso Smart are key and will make an important contribution to keep sugarbeet cultivation profitable and fit for the future.“

About Bayer
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to benefit people by supporting efforts to overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development, and the Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2018, the Group employed around 117,000 people and had sales of 39.6 billion euros. Capital expenditures amounted to 2.6 billion euros, R&D expenses to 5.2 billion euros. For more information, go to

About KWS*
KWS is one of the world’s leading plant breeding companies. In fiscal 2017/18, 5,150 employees in 70 countries generated net sales of EUR 1,070 million and earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of EUR 133 million. A company with a tradition of family ownership, KWS has operated independently for more than 160 years. It focuses on plant breeding and the production and sale of seed for corn, sugarbeet, cereals, rapeseed and sunflowers. KWS uses leading-edge plant breeding methods to continuously improve yield and resistance to diseases, pests and abiotic stress. To that end, the company invested EUR 200 million last fiscal year in research and development, 18,5 percent of its net sales. For information:

*All figures exclude the companies carried at equity AgReliant Genetics LLC., AgReliant Genetics Inc. and Kenfeng – KWS SEEDS CO., Ltd.

About MariboHilleshög
MariboHilleshög is an integrated sugar beet seed company with R&D, seed multiplication, processing, logistics and sales and marketing for the global market. The company markets its well-known, legacy sugar beet brands, Maribo and Hilleshög, in more than 30 countries. Established on 1 October 2017, MariboHilleshög is a strategic business unit in the DLF Group, a global seed company with headquarters in Denmark and global market leader within forage and turf seed. MariboHilleshög has 350 employees dedicated to sugar beet seed with breeding and seed production sites in Denmark, Sweden, Italy, France and USA. The MariboHilleshög headquarters are located in Holeby, on the island Lolland, Denmark. MariboHilleshög Research AB in Landskrona Sweden, is the center of the breeding and research activities. The US business, Hilleshog Seeds LLC, is based in Longmont, Colorado and activities are spread over multiple sites in the US. For further information:

Forward-Looking Statements
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

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Claudia Karsten

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