Feature: Bayer Crop Science

We start off the new year in a discussion with our valued sponsor, Bayer Crop Science. Bayer has been a long-time supporter of the Wheat Growers Association so it’s important to share with members the synergies in this collaborative relationship. As governments continual overreach increases red tape and regulatory burden, our sector will remain under pressure and make cooperation on issues progressively more important. We would like to thank Bayer for offering the following thoughts on direction and value of the relationship with the Wheat Growers.

Why do you see Bayer’s participation with the Wheat Growers as a good fit?

Bayer appreciates our relationship with a number of farm associations, including the Wheat Growers. What we appreciate about Wheat Growers’ members is they are supportive of sound science; technology; innovation – these are all things that we believe in as a company in order to drive agriculture forward. We want to bring value to farmers with the introduction of new tools and technologies and share in that value with growers. We also appreciate that the Wheat Growers have a strong voice and are willing to share their perspectives with policy makers for the benefit of farmers and Canadian agriculture. Finally, we value the positive working relationship we have with the Wheat Growers and while we don’t always agree on every issue, we need to hear the perspective and views of Wheat Growers’ members to help guide our business decisions.

From your perspective why is it important to be a sponsor of the Wheat Growers?

For a company like Bayer, we will always advocate and defend the safety and effectiveness of our products and our business, but farmers generally have a respected and trusted position with the public and with policy makers. Sometimes we are accused of only thinking about what’s best for our business, so when farmers agree with a position we might take, or advocate for the continue use of our products and their benefits, or access to new technology like products developed through gene-editing, the message is heard with less bias. Farmers are generally viewed as a trusted source, since farmers won’t generally share an opinion or stick up for something that doesn’t provide them with an economic or environmental benefit on the farm.

Where do they see the value proposition in being associated with the Wheat Growers?

I think the value in our relationship is that it gives us access to an informed and engaged group of growers who are not shy about sharing their thoughts on any issues, policies, or our products. It’s the dialogues and discussions we have with Wheat Growers’ members that are important because they not only help us make better decisions, but they also allow us to hear what farmers are thinking about any number of issues, for example, pricing, supply, products, new product ideas, government policies, etc. Since we can only be successful if farmers are successful this dialogue and open – and sometimes frank – sharing of views is very important to our success or to the success of Canadian farmers generally.

Is there anything else you want readers to know about Bayer?

Bayer brings innovative products to farmers across five technology platforms that focus on specific areas for the farm where in combination will enable farmers to produce more and reduce their environmental footprint. The five platforms are Elite Seed Genetics, BiotechTraits to manage your bugs and weeds; Crop Protection to protect the farmer’s investment and Biologicals – mainly microorganisms that are used as a seed treatment to enhance uptake of water, nutrients etc., and FieldView, our Digital Platform to enable precision agriculture. These products will help farmers adapt to swings in weather but also stabilize their yield in the backdrop of climate change. More information can be found here.

What is Bayer’s direction and vision for the future?

Health for all, hunger for none—this vision drives Bayer towards a better tomorrow. We believe human ingenuity can shape the future of agriculture and have used science and imagination to advance health and nutrition for over 150 years. Bayer Crop Science is committed to improving lives through food systems that are better for farmers, consumers and the planet. Bayer Crop Science Canada invests in industry-leading integrated solutions that help farmers get the most out of every acre of land. Through our seeds and traits, crop protection products and data-driven digital solutions, Canadian farmers have access to tools that make them more profitable, efficient and sustainable—now and for the next generation. For more information on the leading products and services we offer Canadian farmers, visit www.cropscience.bayer.ca.

Besides Bayer’s multiple plot trials across Canada, is there anything else Bayer is doing?

This past fall, Bayer officially opened its new Canola Seed Production Site in Cranbrook, B.C. The site manages all of Bayer’s canola pre-foundation, foundation, and experimental plot seed operations for Canada and Chile.

Bayer and its predecessors first started producing canola seed in the Kootenay Region of B.C. in 1996. The unique local geography, climate, and remote field locations allow Bayer to isolate and produce only the highest quality canola seeds. More information can be found here.

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