Sponsoring this year’s crop protection seminar at The CropTec Show for a second successive year will be agrochemical manufacturer Belchim Crop Protection.
With successful crop protection product launches into several crops during the last couple of years and a number of new products in the pipeline, knowledge transfer is an important part of Belchim’s activities. So country manager for UK and Eire Simon Leak is looking forward to hearing about grower and agronomist experiences with the company’s existing products, as well as providing updates on new developments in the pipeline at this year’s CropTec Show.
Such is the business’ focus on knowledge transfer that it will be expanding its activities in 2018, he explains. “Pest, weed and disease solutions are explored and exhibited at Belchim’s 15-hectare trial station, located just 10 minutes from the head office at Londerzeel, North of Brussels.
“Trial station tours have been so integral to the knowledge transfer process between Belchim and our customers that in 2018 we are replicating the model for southern European crops at a second major trial site at Fronton, near to Toulouse. The 26ha site will give us the opportunity to look at crop protection solutions in vines, top fruit, soft fruit and a wide range of other crops including vegetables.
“The investment in a second trials site will enable us to focus further on product development and registration in line with current and future market needs but for a different range of crops.”
Following recent herbicide product launches into potatoes with metobromuron and maize with pyridate in the last couple of years, Belchim’s portfolio is filling some of the important gaps left as existing chemistry falls by the wayside and the pipeline looks strong for the future too. Belchim is not heavily reliant on post patent or generic products and future growth will be based on investment in new molecules, says Mr Leak.
“We intend to introduce at least one new product each year through our own developments and through our partnership with our Japanese shareholders, who each have very strong development pipelines,” he says.
Belchim Crop Protection is sponsoring the crop protection seminar at CropTec Show 2017.
Simon Leak says: "The show is getting better every year. It is a good time of year to hold the event when fieldwork pressure is lower so grower attendance is higher.
"With changes in legislation, environmental schemes, stewardship schemes, loss of active ingredients and resistance issues, there has never been a more important time for knowledge transfer and I have not mentioned the ‘B word’ yet.
"The seminars are a great way of getting ideas across over the course of the two days and hopefully creating further discussion both in and out of the seminar arena."
Belchim will have a team on stand 1.92 (Hall 1, stand 92) ready to answer questions and provide a tea or coffee to those in need of refreshments.
Among the new actives coming from Belchim are a new SDHI fungicide (isofetamid) discovered by ISK for use in oilseed rape, fruit and vegetables for control of a range of diseases including sclerotinia, botrytis and monilinia. A fast-acting herbicide of plant origin has already received approvals in the UK in the amenity and home and garden sectors with agricultural uses to follow. A new potato blight fungicide and a biological product for use against Esca diseases in vines are also expected in the very near future.
However, existing chemistry still has a valuable role to play even if in some cases the efficacy is not what it was as its contribution to resistance management should not be underestimated, says Mr Leak.
“Belchim is already very strong in crops like potatoes and maize and has a pipeline which will not only strengthen our position in these crops but see us expanding our portfolio further in other major crops, such as cereals.
“With the recent loss of some important active ingredients and with the likelihood of more to go, R&D remains one of the keys to the future survival of crop protection ensuring our growers can produce sufficient high quality food. There is also significant and impressive innovation going on around the wider industry with the use of digital and other technologies and I am sure the speakers in the CropTec crop protection seminar will pick up on some of that innovation,” he adds.