• 100 years of innovation to protect crops and improve yields;
• Future growth to come from solutions for farmers that go beyond crop protection.
Established in 1914 as an agriculture research station, it has grown into the global center for BASF's crop protection business. Today, the division is one of the leading research-driven providers of a broad range of agricultural solutions.
The 100th anniversary of the Agriculture Center will be celebrated at events in Limburgerhof with employees as the main focus. “For the past 100 years, our people at Limburgerhof have been doing great work. They have developed numerous products and solutions and brought them successfully to market. These have helped farmers all over the world to protect and improve their crops, both then and now. We can all be very proud of that,” said Markus Heldt, President of BASF’s Crop Protection division.
The division sees further growth to come and is aiming for sales of €8 billion by 2020. Continuous investments in research and development as well as close cooperation with customers are BASF’s keys to success. “We will take on the challenges of the future and continue to provide innovative solutions to farmers for their daily needs, both in crop protection and beyond,” Heldt said yesterday at the employee meeting where he officially commemorated the anniversary year. During the rest of the year, several events are planned for the employees at the Agricultural Center Limburgerhof.
Carl Bosch, who later became CEO of BASF and I.G. Farben, founded the agriculture research station in Limburgerhof in 1914. Just one year prior, BASF had succeeded in implementing a large-scale process for the synthesis of ammonia, which formed the basis for the industrial production of fertilizers. Five employees began the first field trials in the spring of 1914, thereby laying the foundation for BASF’s work in the field of agricultural chemistry. The product Nitrophoska® was another milestone upon its patent registration in 1926, as it met farmers’ demands for an affordable and easy-to-use fertilizer.
Between 1949 and 1964, an assortment of products around the herbicide U46 was developed. U46 had become a comprehensive solution for all common weed problems and helped to increase crop yields, especially in cereal crops. Then in 1964 Pyramin® was launched, a brand new selective herbicide for sugar beets that also went on to become a success.
With the advent broad spectrum fungicides, crop protection at BASF expanded again. In 1956, Polyram® was brought to market, followed in 1957 by Polyram® Kombi which was used as a contact fungicide with even better efficacy. Polyram® WG remains on the market and has proven its worth in a variety of crops from fruits and vegetables to vineyards.
Starting in the mid-1960s, BASF established its own research station in the United States. BASF later expanded into other important markets, including Brazil and Japan, in a similar manner.
In 1996, the company acquired part of the pharmaceutical company Sandoz’s global business in corn herbicides.
With its entry into plant biotechnology, BASF opened new avenues of research in Limburgerhof in 1998. The BASF Plant Science division developed an industry-leading research and technology platform with a focus on improving plant properties. BASF Plant Science has been headquartered in North Carolina, USA, since 2012.
In 2000, with the acquisition of American Cyanamid, BASF became one of three leading global manufacturers in research-based crop protection.
The development of the active ingredient F 500® led to a breakthrough for BASF in the fungicide market in 2002. This was followed by the fungicide Xemium® in 2011, which quickly became another blockbuster, reinforcing BASF’s position as a leading fungicide supplier.
In 2008, BASF acquired the pest control business of the British Company Sorex, together with its US-subsidiary Whitmire Micro-Gen. BASF’s global business segment in this area markets products for professional pest control and the protection of public health. These include Termidor® to control termites and ants and the mosquito net Interceptor®, which is effective against mosquitoes and supports the fight against malaria and other tropical diseases.
The US-company Becker Underwood became a part of BASF in 2012. With this acquisition, BASF became one of the world’s leading providers of technologies and products for biological seed treatment and crop protection as well as pigments and polymers for treating seeds. The new business unit, named Functional Crop Care, provides additional services and solutions for stress management in its portfolio.
The Agriculture Center has grown considerably over the past 100 years. It covers 12,250 m ² of greenhouses and 40 acres of open land. The approximately 1,700 employees at the Agriculture Center include biologists, chemists, technicians, agronomists, farmers, gardeners and business experts.
Detailed information about the 100-year history can be found at 100-years-agricultural-center-limburgerhof.basf.com/.
About BASF’s Crop Protection division
With sales of more than €5.2 billion in 2013, BASF’s Crop Protection division provides innovative solutions in crop protection, seed treatment and biological control as well as solutions to manage water, nutrients and plant stress. Its portfolio also includes products for turf and ornamental plants, pest control and public health. BASF’s Crop Protection division is a leading innovator that supports growers to optimize agricultural production, improve their business efficiency and enhance the quality of life for a growing world population. Further information can be found on the web at agro.basf.com or through our social media channels.
BASF (basf.com) is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Through science and innovation, we enable our customers in nearly every industry to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring nutrition and improving quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF had sales of about €74 billion in 2013 and over 112,000 employees as of the end of the year. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN).