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Leverkusen, June 8, 2017 – Bayer AG and KWS SAAT SE have given access to a long-term license for their new CONVISO®SMART cultivation system for sugarbeet to the Belgian sugarbeet seed breeding company SESVanderHave. The technology is based on the breeding of sugarbeet varieties that are tolerant to herbicides in the ALS inhibitor class with broad-spectrum weed control.
CONVISO®SMART system will give farmers a new option to make sugarbeet cultivation easier, more flexible in terms of the window for herbicide application and at the same time more environmentally compatible. The technology will initially be available next year primarily to farmers in eastern and northern Europe and will then be launched in other key markets such as Germany, France and Poland from 2019/2020.
“The agreement with SESVanderHave is the first license that KWS and Bayer have granted for this new cultivation system. Further licenses of CONVISO®SMART are set to follow,” says Sabine Stolz, Global Segment Manager Soy, Oilseed Rape and Sugar Beet Herbicide at Crop Science. “We want as many breeders for this technology as possible. If major seed providers work together to advance this technology, many farmers will be able to benefit from its advantages. With SESVanderHave, we now have a strong partner with many years of experience in sugarbeet breeding and cultivation, who will be able to make a crucial contribution in this regard.”
“We are happy reaching an agreement with Bayer and KWS providing access to the CONVISO®SMART technology,” explains Rob van Tetering, CEO of SESVanderHave. “We shall be introducing our hybrids with CONVISO®SMART technology into the market soon. This new technology will allow sugarbeet growers and sugar industry to be more efficient and competitive against sugar cane and other crops.“
Dr. Peter Hofmann, member of the Executive Board of KWS adds: “CONVISO®SMART is a real innovation for sugarbeet cultivation allowing weed control with lower herbicide volumes and reduced application frequency. We want to allow all breeders to have access to this technology. Ongoing research efforts are needed to keep sugarbeet at the top of competitiveness among all sweeteners. Good weed resistance management is vital to maintain the benefits of the system in the long term. We will engage all key stakeholders, such as sugarbeet research institutes and advisory services, to ensure the achievement of this goal.”
The new sugarbeet plants have a naturally occurring change in an enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of essential amino acids. During development, sugarbeets with this spontaneously changed enzyme were specifically selected and used for further breeding.
Bayer: Science For A Better Life
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2016, the Group employed around 115,200 people and had sales of EUR 46.8 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.6 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.7 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.
KWS is one of the world’s leading plant breeding companies. In fiscal 2015/16, 4,850 employees in 70 countries generated net sales of € 1,037 million and earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of € 113 million. A company with a tradition of family ownership, KWS has operated independently for 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 € 182 million last fiscal year in research and development, 17 percent of its net sales. For more information: www.kws.com. Follow us on Twitter® at https://twitter.com/KWS_Group.
*All figures exclude the companies carried at equity AGRELIANT GENETICS LLC., AGRELIANT GENETICS INC. and KENFENG – KWS SEEDS CO., LTD.
SESVanderHave is a global player in the sugarbeet seed industry. More than one in four sugarbeets worldwide grow from SESVanderHave seeds. Over 600 members of staff in 23 international establishments are managed by headquarters in Tienen, Belgium. One in three employees in the international group works in R&D.
SESVanderHave is specialised in each aspect of the production of sugarbeet seeds: ranging from the development of new varieties and resistances in the test fields to the final finished seeds in the factory. Each variety is developed with an eye to the requirements of individual markets, all over the world. SESVanderHave is represented by a branch or a local agent anywhere in the world where sugarbeets are grown.
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 www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.