Bayer Environmental Science Has Field Day with Research

In Clayton, N.C., researchers for Bayer Environmental Science are testing turf-disease and pest-control products on what’s touted to be the largest single-site research facility in the United States. The property covers 280 acres with 40 percent open-turf land, includes a two-hole golf course and 10 interconnected greenhouses. BES invited Green Industry editors to visit the facility June 10, where researchers talked about the value of a dedicated research farm.

“For herbicide research, we now are in a position to respond to current marketing trends in all phases of the herbicide market, including post-emerge, pre-emerge, non-selective and IVM (industrial vegetation management),” Don Myers, product development manager, herbicides, for Bayer, told editors. “Research at Clayton includes testing and development of new actives, launching and demonstrating newly-registered compounds to our customers and finding new uses for our current products.”

The value of Clayton lies in its ability to screen a wide range of weeds, establish permanent plots for varietal tolerance, plus conduct extensive research studies, Myers adds. A dedicated research farm also allows the company to control the release of research results to the public and maintain the confidentiality that a company needs to compete in today’s market.

Clayton’s position on the East Coast allows researchers to study cool-season turf, warm-season turf as well as Transition-Zone turf.

“The Clayton facility allows for year-round testing of fungicides, utilizing greenhouses and field locations,” says Rich Hanrahan, product development manager, fungicides, for Bayer. “Formulations, spray techniques and the influence of rainfall/irrigation on product performance are just some of the details that can be evaluated here. Numerous diseases can be tested under a variety of conditions. The facility also adds significant value in allowing Bayer to respond to customer questions/input in a timely fashion.”

Bruce Monke, field development and product services manager for Bayer, says the research facility is integral to continued development and proving of commercial products, as well as critical for screening and conducting decision-making trials for new active ingredients for future insecticides to protect turf and ornamentals. “The personnel, laboratories, greenhouses and equipment at Clayton provide new information about the characteristics and features of the products that can be used for find and implement new strategies to mitigate insect damage to turf and ornamentals,” he says.

“As it becomes more difficult to innovate with new chemistry, there is a need to seek out formulation advances, new services, new delivery systems, packaging improvements and non-product/service innovations to help customers get the highest return from their business models,” adds Jim Fetter, director of marketing, Chipco Professional Products. “Bayer’s Clayton facility is a direct expression of the company’s strong commitment to and focus on the green industry, and has already provided many important innovations to address customer needs.”

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