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Plant the seed of Innovation

At BASF, innovation is one of our core strategic pillars for success. With our innovation-based strategy in agriculture, we put the grower’s needs at the center of everything we do. We are committed to investing in and delivering leading crop protection and seed & trait technology to growers in Western Canada to enhance productivity and profitability in a sustainable and responsible manner.

GIrl in a lab

BASF supports globally driven and locally focused investment.

BASF is one of the world’s leading crop protection, seed & trait research & development companies. We are focused on investing back into agricultural research & development. In 2019 alone, the company invested $1,286 million CDN in research & development globally in the Agricultural Solutions division, representing  around 11% of sales for the segment. *

In Canada, this research & development investment supports several initiatives:

  • BASF globally driven and locally tailored breeding programs in InVigor® hybrid canola and hybrid wheat, which are focused on developing and delivering value-added traits and leading hybrids to Canadian growers
  • BASF partnerships with public breeding organizations like the Crop Development Center (CDC) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. BASF invests a portion of the sales of Clearfield herbicides into the CDC’s lentil and wheat breeding programs and has actively supported their breeding facilities through direct investment

 * “BASF’s new focused approach boosts agricultural innovation pipeline by 25%,” BASF, February 28, 2020, https://www.basf.com/global/en/media/news-releases/2020/02/p-20-136.html.


Innovation doesn't happen overnight.

At BASF, we have a passion for discovering new, integrated solutions and revolutionary, high-performing products to boost agricultural productivity, profitability, and sustainability. Bringing new seed & trait technologies to the marketplace is no small feat and takes time and investment. According to a CropLife International study, it takes approximately 13 years and approximately $136 million to launch a transgenic trait from its discovery to commercial launch.* BASF value-added traits are available to growers in top-performing hybrids and varieties because of that continued time and investment. Our investment in state-of-the-art research facilities and processes has helped optimize this process.


* “Cost of bringing a biotech crop to market,” CropLife International, September 2011, https://croplife.org/plant-biotechnology/regulatory-2/cost-of-bringing-a-biotech-crop-to-market/.


Supporting innovation is a BASF commitment.

BASF is committed to supporting seed & trait innovation through agronomy research, crop protection innovations and digital farming solutions. BASF Technical Services and Agronomic Excellence teams play a key role in demonstrating new BASF seed & trait technology and developing value-added agronomic recommendations through local trials. Using commercial practices and equipment, the BASF field-scale trial programs are the backbone for providing growers local knowledge of how products will perform, as well as agronomic recommendations to maximize product performance.


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Seeder in a field

Responsible Stewardship of seed & trait products.

BASF is committed to the responsible delivery of seed & trait products to the Canadian marketplace from its inception through to its ultimate use and discontinuation. Supporting this commitment, BASF is a member of Excellence Through Stewardship® (ETS).* ETS is a global organization that promotes the adoption of product stewardship programs and quality management systems for the full life cycle of agricultural biotechnology products. BASF products are commercialized in accordance with ETS guidelines.

Purchasers of BASF seed & trait products also play a key role in stewarding the technology which supports the integrity and durability of the products
and safeguards ongoing open market access for Canadian crops. Here are some examples:

  • BASF works with regulatory agencies domestically and in key export markets so that the necessary authorizations are in place and maintained for open access to export markets for Canadian crops.  Growers can do their part by growing registered varieties. This is important because it helps Canadian grain exports meet export customer requirements for biotech traits. Canadian growers can refer to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s website and list of variety registration cancellations or the Keep It Clean program for more information on varieties that have been deregistered.
  • Farm-saved seed or bin-run seed grown from a hybrid segregate genetically. This means that the farm-saved/bin-run seed may not provide the same level of disease resistance, vigor, yield, and end-use quality as certified seed of the hybrid. Growing certified hybrid seed is essential because it helps Canadian crops meet customers’ domestic and export requirements for disease and quality.
  • Clearfield-Confirm® testing, paid for by BASF when growers register their 2023 Clearfield lentil acres as part of the Clearfield Seed Quality Offer.


                  *Excellence Through Stewardship® is a registered trademark of Excellence Through Stewardship.


Understand BASF Intellectual Property Agreements.

BASF Intellectual Property Agreements such as the Liberty & Trait Agreement (LTA) are cornerstones:

  • to support the continued investment of BASF back into innovative seed & trait research & development
  • to steward BASF seed & trait technology in the marketplace, promoting the durability of technology and helping support the integrity of Canadian export markets

To learn more about BASF’s investment into seed & trait technology and the associated Intellectual Property Agreements, visit the following pages.


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Get the facts behind innovation.

  • The BASF Canola Research Facility, located near Saskatoon, is a BASF global research centre and is home to canola breeders, pathologists, agronomists, molecular biologists, and technicians focused on development, selection and registration of InVigor hybrids
  • The BASF Canola Research Facility houses modern greenhouses and phytotrons that allow up to four breeding cycles per year and the ability to increase purified breeder seed to channel into the commercial seed supply
  • The BASF Canola breeding team evaluates more than 100,000 plots annually, equating to more than a million data points to be utilized for selection and advancement; this testing network spans the canola growing regions of Western Canada and the Northern US
  • BASF tests thousands of experimental canola hybrids every year and only selects a few that meet our internal criteria and rigorous quality controls thereby attaining the name of InVigor hybrid canola
  • In 2014, $24 million was initially invested in hybrid wheat development in Canada and funding continues to be invested on an annual basis
  • In addition to the investment of $12 million provided to the Crop Development Centre made since the introduction of Clearfield lentils, BASF continues to make substantial investments in Clearfield lentils annually
  • The Hybrid Wheat Breeding Station boasts over 2,000 square meters of facilities including an analytical lab/pathology research space, seed quality laboratory and over 275 square feet of plant growth space. The adjoining 194 hectares is dedicated to breeding operations, trial and pathology evaluation, production of experimental hybrids and Agronomic Excellence Trials
  • In 2015, BASF produced its first experimental wheat hybrids followed by performance evaluation trials in 2016 
  • Seven – the number of locations globally that are helping to deliver hybrid wheat to the marketplace from Saskatoon, Canada to Tsentrain’e, Ukraine
  • BASF’s patented Pod Shatter Reduction technology has grown from its launch in 2014 from 300,000 acres to over 40 million acres in total to the end of 2021
  • 5,223 Clearfield-Confirm tests were completed and paid for by BASF between 2018 and 2020, to confirm field-level tolerance to Clearfield herbicides for lentils and wheat
  • 29 varieties of Clearfield lentils have been introduced to the market since 2006, covering all major market classes