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Research Partner of the Year - 2006

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Bayer CropScience

Bayer CropScience

Monies provided by the 2006 Research Partner of the Year has funded several graduate student programs and numerous undergraduate research assistants at the College of Agriculture in addition to crop research.

Bayer CropScience and its subsidiaries the past 25 years have provided more than $25,000 annually to plant science programs at the University of Wyoming, says Stephen D. Miller, associate dean and director of the Agricultural Experiment Station. "They have been and continue to be a very stable source of funding for programs," Miller says.

Bayer CropScience is based in Germany with U.S. corporate headquarters in North Carolina and has regional technology stations at several sites. Bayer CropScience sells crop protection products including fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, and seed treatments.         

Americans know several Bayer company products that are part of the culture. Bayer Aspirin was introduced in 1899, and the company began advertising Alka Seltzer in the U.S. in 1931. 

In October 2001, Bayer signed an agreement to purchase Aventis CropScience. The largest acquisition in Bayer's history expanded its crop protection business. With about 22,000 employees, the company is the number one supplier on the world market for crop-protection products, according to the company.

"It's an honor to be recognized," says Charlie Hicks, who lives in Colorado and is a field development representative for the company.

"It's extremely valuable for us to work with the University of Wyoming. Many UW researchers have good relationships with people in the weed and pest districts, dealers, and consultants in Wyoming," he notes. "Those customers rely on UW recommendations on new products.  It's critical that UW evaluate our products and explain to customers how those products might fit in their production systems."

Hicks says many states will not recommend a company's product unless it has been evaluated in the state for several years.

Bayer CropScience has had products evaluated at the UW research and extension centers at Powell and Sheridan and the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center near Lingle.

As a field development representative, Hicks conducts research trials with growers in Wyoming, Colorado, and western Nebraska.  As a product approaches commercial registration, he approaches UW researchers who may be interested in testing the product.  He works directly with university researchers in developing an applied research program and checks with UW progress.

"I view their research trials, and they often come to view mine," he says.

Bayer CropScience is committed to providing new technologies for the agriculture industry. "There aren't many companies today as actively involved in launching new products," he notes.

"Several companies have gone strictly biotech and some have scaled back screening of crop-protection products," he says. "Bayer CropScience is still actively involved in screening and bringing new crop-protection materials to market."

Much of the research Bayer CropScience supported has led to the development of new formulations of products for weed control in sugar beets and wild oat and broadleaf weed control systems in spring-seeded small grains, notes Miller.

Research has also led to winter annual grass control in winter wheat, single-pass weed control systems for reduced-till corn, environmental and edaphic (effect of soil characteristics on plants and animals) factors influencing herbicide carryover from one crop season to the next and, most recently, downy brome control trials in pasture and rangeland settings.

"Being recognized as one of your major contributors is a two-way street," Hicks says. "Not only is it of benefit for UW, but it also benefits Bayer CropScience in being able to work with a land-grant university like UW to help evaluate and position our products in the state."    

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