New BASF biological solution helps farmers combat drought
Melbourne, Australia – January 9, 2019 – A new, innovative strain of drought-tolerant rhizobium inoculant by BASF is making significant improvements to farming sustainability and productivity in dry areas of Australia.
The specially-developed inoculant enables Tedera, a new pasture legume variety for water deficient soils, to survive in difficult landscapes and dry conditions; transforming dormant land into plentiful paddocks across dry areas in Western Australia and South Australia.
With 65 years of experience in biological inoculants, BASF produced an innovative strain of drought-tolerant rhizobium – under the brand name Nodulaid® – that enables the legume to survive and be productive in difficult conditions.
Inoculants contain live bacteria, called rhizobia, that form a symbiotic relationship with the host plant. The plant provides a living space via the nodule, and the rhizobia convert nitrogen from the air into forms that the plant can use for growth.
Licensed by Australian seed business Seednet, Tedera requires inoculation to ensure it can provide sufficient nitrogen to feed the crop. The challenging and inhospitable environment, and the fact that Tedera is a brand-new plant type for Australia, meant pre-existing inoculants were not suitable.
“Tedera fits into the category of scientists developing new species in the face of climate change. Hot and dry conditions are getting more prominent and this species has been developed to cope with those conditions,” said Simon Crane, National Manager at Seednet, an Australian seed company that has commercialized the plant variety
“Five years ago when Seednet – through Landmark and Dyna-Gro Seeds – started looking at how we can commercialize this variety, we realized that, for this brand new species coming to our agricultural environment, we don’t have the rhizobium we need naturally. That’s when BASF became involved,” he added.
BASF has a unique ability to produce inoculants quickly and specifically for Australian conditions, with quality guaranteed on rhizobia products by in-house testing. All Nodulaid® inoculants produced by BASF are certified by the Australian Inoculant Research Group.
“It’s an important step in the ongoing sustainability of the Australian agriculture industry to use our innovations in biologicals to increase productivity for our farmers,” said Gavin Jackson, Head of Agricultural Solutions at BASF in Australia.
The inoculant is produced in Australia at BASF’s local production plant in Somersby, New South Wales. The Somersby production plant and research and development facilities are set to expand in the near future, enabling the company to identify and develop more innovative biological solutions.
“Having a local production plant in Somersby, NSW, makes us more adaptable and agile to support our customers. We are in constant dialog with our stakeholders in the industry and actively seek ways to provide more tools for farmers and growers across the country,” said Jackson.
The ability of Tedera to maintain its leaves in dry and hot conditions means that farmers now have a research-backed grazing option for their livestock – especially in difficult summer times; improving their cost efficiency and time management.
“Farmers can establish Tedera for sheep or cattle to graze and reduce the need to be fed grain all summer,” added Crane.
About BASF in Australia and New Zealand
BASF posted sales of about €464 million in Australia and New Zealand in 2017, serving key industries in the agriculture, coatings, construction, manufacturing and mining sectors. As of the end of 2017, the company had 501 employees and operated 12 production sites across manufacturing and agricultural solutions, performance products and functional materials and solutions. BASF has been active in Australia for more than 90 years, and for about 60 years in New Zealand. Further information is available on the Internet at www.basf.com/au.
About BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division
With a rapidly growing population, the world is increasingly dependent on our ability to develop and maintain sustainable agriculture and healthy environments. Working with farmers, agricultural professionals, pest management experts and others, it is our role to help make this possible. That’s why we invest in a strong R&D pipeline and broad portfolio, including seeds and traits, chemical and biological crop protection, soil management, plant health, pest control and digital farming. With expert teams in the lab, field, office and in production, we connect innovative thinking and down-to-earth action to create real world ideas that work – for farmers, society and the planet. In 2017, our division generated sales of €5.7 billion. For more information, please visit www.agriculture.basf.com or on any of our social media channels.
At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The more than 115,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into six segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional Materials & Solutions and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of more than €60 billion in 2017. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS). Further information at www.basf.com.