Competence areas

Coatings, Products




All, Cereals


June 2015

Cereal Future Forum in Brussels

It’s all about collaboration

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Agronomic issues such as integrated weed and pest management, the impact of drought and heat on yield, or value chain requirements are only some of the challenges in today’s wheat production. 230 experts from 30 cereal growing countries recently discussed challenges and future strategies at the Cereal Future Forum in Brussels, held by Bayer Crop Science.
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“Collaboration is essential”, said Steve Patterson, Bayer CropScience’ Global Crop Manager Cereals at the Forum which was part of the Crop Future Forum series, initiated by Bayer CropScience to provide a networking platform on the future of key agricultural crops. “We have to focus on the needs of farmers, both the large-scale operations and small-scale farmers in industrialized and developing countries”, Patterson adds.

Bayer CropScience’s innovation program to enhance global wheat productivity includes:

  • collaborations with leading wheat research institutes and selected acquisitions
  • a 10 year plan to invest 1.5 billion euro in R&D of new solutions for wheat until 2020
  • Hybrid wheat varieties with improved yield and stabilityare expected to be ready for the market after 2020

More innovation is needed

After two days of knowledge exchange all participants agreed: the global demand for wheat is increasing steadily. And to be able to cope with this demand more innovative solutions are required, especially to ensure a sustainable intensification of wheat production. “We have a ten year plan to invest 1.5 billion euros in the research and development of new solutions for wheat through to 2020 – encompassing both high-yielding seeds and new crop protection solutions to advance global wheat cultivation”, said Liam Condon, Chief Executive Officer at Bayer Crop Science.
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Steve Patterson knows that agronomy can make a difference as well as technology – from digital farming approaches, the right agronomy advice by wheat variety, new cultivation systems to machinery that enables this. Need more information? Read why Bayer SeedGrowth and its four competencies points the way for better wheat cultivation.
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Interview Steve Patterson and Dr. Gerhard Feurer, Global Segment Manager SeedGrowth

“Strong contribution to sustainable agriculture”

Today wheat is the world’s most important crop. Read why Steve Patterson, Global Crop Manager Cereals at Bayer CropScience, and Dr. Gerhard Feurer, Global Segment Manager SeedGrowth at Bayer CropScience, are convinced that seed-applied products offer multiple benefits when it comes to grow wheat in a sustainable manner.


During the Cereal Forum in Brussels experts discussed current challenges but also future strategies in wheat cultivation. What about the role of seed treatments at this point?

Dr. Gerhard Feurer: “Suitable seed treatment products contribute to a better and faster crop establishment by controlling seed and soil borne diseases, soil pests and beyond that they deliver virus protection – a precondition for best yields. That’s why seed-applied technologies are one effective way for growers to increase their wheat production, be it small holders or big agricultural businesses.”

What are the pests and diseases that affect cereals that can be controlled with seed-applied technologies?

Dr. Gerhard Feurer: “Traditionally smuts and bunts are the main seed borne diseases that need to be controlled. To regulate them, Bayer SeedGrowth has some really effective seed-applied products to offer. Take Redigo™ for example. It allows extended control of soil borne diseases such as Microdochium nivale. Beyond that we recently introduced EverGol™ that facilitates the control of Rhizoctonia much better. And for pest control such as wireworm and aphids Bayer SeedGrowth offers Gaucho™, Deter™ and Yunta™.”

But how important are seed-applied technologies for sustainable agriculture?

Steve Patterson: “They are critical components due to the importance of crop establishment to final yield. They fight against seed borne diseases which impact both yield and quality and that cannot be controlled by any alternative way in most circumstances. In addition, for pest control they enable high performance in a system that targets the treatment exactly where it is needed: at lower dose than sprays, on the seed, thus avoiding or reducing the need for further field-based treatments. These are important tools for sustainable agriculture.”

Dr. Gerhard Feurer: “I agree. Seed-applied products offer multiple benefits including four essential aspects. They facilitate crop protection, flexibility in application, increased plant health and vigor as well as less environmental impact. Proactive stewardship gives strong contribution to sustainable agriculture and to protect human health and the environment.”


The main wheat producing regions are: the European Union, China, India, Russia, North America, Australia and Pakistan. In 2013 about 700 million tons of wheat had been harvested worldwide.
So wheat …

  • … is the world’s most important crop
  • … is the number one among three staple crops as a source of protein in developing countries
  • … is grown on more land area than any other commercial crop
  • … provides 19% of our total available calories
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