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1BASF had a big year in 2021 with the launch of many new products. What type of feedback have you been hearing from superintendents and other turf professionals?

We hear customers repeatedly saying that they appreciate innovation, and 2021 was a great year for new BASF products. Last year, Alucion™ 35 WG insecticide, our first insecticide for golf courses, piqued the interest of superintendents who were facing tough-to-control surface-feeding insects and nuisance ants. For fungicides, Encartis™ fungicide was the star of the show. Folks really liked being able to use a dual-active-ingredient product to start and finish the season strong. With the new Finale® XL T&O herbicide, we had outstanding weed control throughout the summer and fall. When you switch from a formulation that’s been in the market for a couple of decades to a new formulation, you never know how it’s going to be received, but lower use rates made it no problem for superintendents to move over to Finale XL T&O herbicide. It’s a growing part of our portfolio, and we’re looking forward to many good years ahead.

2This year will be the first time that many superintendents are using Finale XL T&O herbicide, Encartis fungicide and Alucion 35 WG insecticide. What can they expect from these new innovations?

Starting out with Finale XL T&O herbicide, this is a more concentrated product than prior formulations, allowing superintendents to control tough weeds with pinpoint accuracy at a lower use rate. For Encartis fungicide, I think most superintendents are looking for dollar spot control. They know both of the active ingredients, so they’re anticipating good results — and Encartis fungicide goes well beyond dollar spot. With Alucion 35 WG insecticide, a lot of superintendents bought it during EOP and really haven’t had a chance to use it. I think it will be a hit for controlling surface feeders and nuisance ants on their courses.

3How does a dual-active fungicide like Encartis fungicide help superintendents build powerful, well-rounded spray programs that meet their unique turf needs?

With a dual-active product like Encartis fungicide, you have the best of both worlds — the extended longevity of boscalid with the knockdown and broad-spectrum protection of chlorothalonil — and that's what our customers really needed in the product. By putting in two actives, we broaden control and the ability to knock down diseases quicker.

4Can you tell us how BASF lives the philosophy that “innovation never stops”?

Innovation is our lifeblood. It is a competitive market, and we prefer to go places untraveled. For instance, there have always been the same DMI fungicide chemistries in the market for close to five decades, and everyone thought that chemical class was an exhausted area. Then we came out with Maxtima® fungicide and Navicon® Intrinsic® brand fungicide, showing that an innovative DMI can revolutionize the industry. Our success with these products clearly shows that we can change the standards to meet industry needs, and that’s what it’s all about for us — innovation.

5How does BASF plan to build on its product innovation going forward? What part do you play in keeping up the momentum?

We always have a robust plan to not only discover our own new molecules but also to seek out available solutions from around the world that meet the needs of the golf course market. Marketing plays a pivotal role in setting the course for innovation and advocating for new product development. My role as a product manager is to identify where the gaps are in our portfolio and prepare business cases for the investments needed to develop new products that meet the market’s needs. We look forward to introducing our next new golf product in 2023, with many more portfolio enhancements planned for the years to come.