Bayer CropScience and the Australia-based Grains Research & Development Corp (GRDC), a government-owned grains research organisation, have signed a five-year agreement to develop innovative weed management solutions.
The joint forces, known as the Herbicide Innovation Partnership, will provide growers with new technologies to manage resistant weeds and support the sustainability of modern crop production systems, according to a press release. The partnership also includes a post-doctoral programme which will provide training in advanced industrial research technique to Australian researchers.
“Increasing weed resistance to major herbicide classes is endangering broad acre crop production on a global level,” Axel Trautwein, head of small molecules research at Bayer, said in a statement.
According to Bayer, no new herbicide mode of action has been invented over the past two decades, meaning growers have few choices when it comes to managing resistant weeds.
“In Australia alone, it is estimated farmers lose more than A$3 billion ($2.34 billion; €2.07 billion) per year due to resistant and poorly controlled weeds,” Richard Clark, chairman at GRDC, said in a statement, “we see this as an important opportunity to tackle this challenge and put Australian farms at the forefront of this exciting partnership. We want to add as many tools to the integrated weed management toolbox as possible.”
In November 2014, Bayer launched a weed resistance competence centre in Frankfurt, Germany to develop new weed control strategies.
Bayer in March partnered with Flagship Ventures to enable the VC firm to expand its early-stage venture funding activities in agtech and healthcare industry. Bayer also teamed up with Finistere Ventures in a new fund, Finistere Ventures II, to identify North American opportunities.