Biological bird repellent Ibisio® showcases the power of innovation

In corn production in western Europe, bird attacks have been increasing – while the available tools to prevent them have been decreasing. Farmers needed an entirely new solution. And now they are getting one, in the form of Ibisio®, a biological seed treatment providing effective protection along with a good environmental profile.

Today, farming has to deal with more challenges than ever, all at the same time. For example, the need to manage increasing pest pressure and maintain crop yields, and to withstand and mitigate climate change and farm in a resilient, sustainable way for the long-term. They need, and deserve, more innovations to help them overcome those challenges. That doesn’t just mean optimizing existing technologies: it also means exploring new possibilities, with scientific understanding and a dose of creativity, to form the solutions and systems that can precisely meet modern agriculture’s needs.

What does this look like in reality? One of the best examples is Bayer’s new bird repellent, Ibisio.

Ibisio is a seed treatment, designed to protect corn and sunflower seeds in their early stages after sowing. It’s also fully biological: its active ingredient is Black Pepper Oleoresin, extracted from black pepper berries. This makes it quite distinctive – you don’t often see crop protection products derived from food-grade plant extracts. But that’s also what makes Ibisio so notable: it’s a norm-breaking innovation specifically designed to meet a fast-growing farmer need.

How Ibisio works

Birds get a bad taste (and smell), growers get protection

Attacks from birds, especially corvids and pheasants, are a serious problem in corn and sunflower production. These birds can eat the seeds, preventing them from ever growing into plants and producing yields. “Under heavy attack, this can lead to crop destruction and need for re-sowing or change of crop. So, this is really a big issue growers are afraid of,” explains Marc Letroublon, SeedGrowth Portfolio Lead in Bayer Crop Science.

It's a particular problem in western European countries, where there are very few existing crop protection products to address the problem – in fact, soon there might be none at all. Farmers needed a new solution that’s future-proof, with a good environmental and regulatory profile. And that’s exactly what Ibisio can deliver.

Marc Andrieux, Global Project Lead for Ibisio, describes how it works: “Ibisio imparts pungency to the treated seeds. Birds quickly associate this pepper flavor with a biting taste and move on to other sources, away from fields protected with Ibisio.”

Some birds will be repelled by the smell of the seeds alone. The ones that remain will be put off by the taste. The result: effective protection for the grower’s investment in their seeds.

Field testing since 2020 has confirmed Ibisio’s efficacy and positive outcomes for corn production. “Ibisio brings a unique combination of a very favorable environmental profile with performance in the field at the same level as market standards based on traditional chemistries,” says Marc Andrieux. “Growers will get a biological product without compromising on field performance or convenience of use.”

Ibisio and birds When attacked by birds after planting, seeds treated with Ibisio can lead to 33% of additional healthy plants than standard treated seeds.

The first growers get hold of Ibisio – with more to come

Ibisio has already been registered in Ukraine, and additionally received emergency approval in Italy and temporary authorization in Switzerland. There could be even more emergency approvals to come, due to the high need and limited number of solutions on the market, and Bayer is working with grower associations and other stakeholders at country level to identify where these could occur.

Full registrations across western European countries are expected from 2026. Beyond that, Ibisio teams are working on making it available more broadly across different regions, and have already identified opportunities for other countries.

“We are moving forward with our plan to bring Ibisio to growers as early as possible in the European market for use in corn, sweetcorn and sunflower,” says Marc Andrieux. And Marc Letroublon adds: “It’s all hands on deck! We’re working with customers and technical institutes to prepare the introduction of this exciting biological product in the coming years.”

Find out more about Ibisio by clicking the button below – and talk to your local Bayer representative to get the latest news on registration in your country.

This browser is no longer supported. Please switch to a supported browser: Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari.