The agricultural research headquarters for BASF remains a hotbed of activity as the company continues to screen hundreds of thousands of compounds in search of that next active ingredient. And one of the company’s key strategic advantages is its broad range of expertise with a variety of chemical compounds.

The company actively looks at all aspects of its production processes in its efforts to discover new compounds and breathe new life into existing compounds. It’s a process called Verbund, which in the German language means integrating, or linking, of various processes to achieve maximum results. It’s more than a simple word, however. Within BASF’s extensive chemical portfolio are a myriad of formulations and processes that are being shared across platforms.

For example, the company developed its new product line of Xemium fungicides using the latest in carboxamide technology. “Our experience with boscalid [the active ingredient in Endura fungicide] led us to this new, broader spectrum product,” explains Ulf Groeger, the global project leader for Xemium, BASF. “Xemium controls a broad spectrum of diseases as well as a wide range of life stages of the fungus.”

It was BASF’s long history of work with carboxamides that led to this breakthrough technology. “Fungal diseases are estimated to rob 20% of the world’s crop yield,” says Frederik Menges, global marketing manager, fungicides, BASF. “This product will be offered in a broad spectrum of crops, including cereals, corn and soybeans.” For U.S. producers, premix formulations containing Xemium will be Priaxor fungicide for crops, including corn and soybeans.

The road to Xemium started with research into current chemistries. “We looked at boscalid and checked for different characteristics and what we wanted. And one prerequisite was good mobility,” Menges says. “We screened thousands of different molecules and came up with one candidate.”

While boscalid remains a very effective product, researchers at BASF looked to make it even better. “Because Xemium is a mobile compound, it can distribute evenly within the leaves. And because of its movement, it can stay ahead of the fungus. It also reaches already infested areas, which is the reason why we are seeing some of the curative responses to the product,” Groeger says.

The company continues its efforts to discover and develop new active ingredients and new compounds for agricultural producers. It is work that will continue and grow in importance — for BASF and its customers.