Bayer CropScience is taking a strong position in building its soybean and wheat portfolio, which the company says will mean a broad array of products available to U.S. producers.

At the company’s annual press conference in Monheim, Germany, last week, key executives outlined the company’s worldwide business objectives. Bayer CropScience is in the midst of restructuring its crop protection business by phasing out older products in its portfolio, focusing on key brand families, and moving into emerging markets.

The company announced that it intends to invest heavily in its BioScience unit. Bayer plans to raise its total research and development budgets some 20% to more than EUR 850 million by 2015.

Bayer also announced that it intends to build significant positions in soybeans, rice and wheat. For soybeans, that means the establishment of a broad germplasm base, developing best-in-class breeding operations and a unique soy trait pipeline. “We can bring a great deal of breeding and technology to soybeans,” Sandra Peterson, chief executive officer of Bayer CropScience and chairman of the board of management of Bayer CropScience AG, told Farm Industry News. “We have made a strategic business decision to leverage our resources in the soybean market.

“Part of the reason,” Peterson continues, “is that we have a great trait pipeline that is robust with some very unique and important traits.”

Developing and acquiring soybean germplasm will not occur overnight. “It won’t be easy, but we are building a good foundation. We believe in soybeans,” Peterson says.

Bayer CropScience also will focus on development of new wheat varieties and traits, and expects the first new wheat varieties developed from a string of alliances and cooperations to reach the market by 2015.

“We see a great opportunity to increase wheat yields in the United States,” says Dr. Rüdiger Scheitza, a member of the executive committee of Bayer CropScience and member of the board of management of Bayer CropScience AG, and who is responsible for strategy and business management. “We are investing in seeds and traits for the wheat market to further increase yield performance.”