IT HAS WORKED FOR 100 MORE YEARS

Feature development expert Fred Moore believes in Stoneville® The cotton brand established a special relationship with the growers

When asked what Fred Moore enjoys most about his role as Vice President and Head of Properties Development at BASF, Ph.D. answers his question with two words. “People,” Moore said. “I am grateful to the farmers who feed us and clothe us. I am also grateful to the passionate people within BASF who are constantly looking for new technologies and solutions to help farmers in their efforts to feed and clothe us.” Based at BASF’s Seed Innovation Center in Lubbock, Texas, Moore rejoined the company in 2018 following the acquisition of significant portions of Bayer CropScience’s seed and non-selective herbicide businesses, including Stoneville.® and FiberMax® cotton brands as well as Liberty® herbicide and LibertyLink® herbicide tolerance traits. He worked at Bayer from 2016 to 2018 and previously worked at BASF from 2007 to 2016. Moore calls Stoneville cotton the “heart” of the cotton industry. “It’s one of the oldest and most recognized brands,” he added, noting that he was “amazed” by its longevity and believed the brand could last another 100 years.

Fred Moore

“BASF is advancing several new technologies, not only to help growers with their needs to address the constant pest problems they face every year, but the germplasm component is something we continue to advance,” he said. “Our breeding team has invested well in taking this forward. Another 100 years is out of the question.” Moore and his team are responsible for evaluating and developing innovative technologies in the pipeline. “We get the technologies from our personality research colleagues, with whom we work closely,” he said. “From this point, we advance these technologies through the pipeline and prepare them for commercialization.” Moore explained that he and his team ensure that these technologies are selected for the best elite event, whether it’s for herbicide, insect control, disease or crop performance traits, and that the elite event performs the way growers expect. “It’s not just about the right embryo, it’s about the right technology stacks that the grower is looking for,” he said. Moore noted that germplasm varies from growing field to growing field because the requirements for specific environments are different.

“If you look at the U.S. Cotton Belt, the germplasm requirements are very different,” he said. “What sets Stoneville Cotton apart is being able to offer germplasm specifically created and dedicated to selected environmental requirements.” Moore holds a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University, where he worked on products throughout his career. Cotton was one of those crops, but it wasn’t Moore’s main focus until 2016. He is as passionate as ever about cotton farming and BASF’s role in the industry. “I have great confidence in BASF’s ability to serve the needs of growers in the United States and internationally,” said Moore.

“BASF IS INTRODUCING SEVERAL NEW TECHNOLOGIES, NOT JUST TO SUPPORT THE NEED TO SUPPORT THE SOLUTION OF THE YEARS OF PERSISTENT DAMAGE ISSUES IT HAS BEEN FACED, BUT RELATED TO THE COMPONENTS OF THE GERMPLASM ISSUES.” – FRED MOORE

Moore said herbicide tolerance was and still is a “table stake” trait in terms of what growers expect in technology. For example, tolerance to glyphosate continues to be a key requirement in every offering, regardless of Stoneville cotton or a competing brand. “But what sets BASF and Stoneville® cotton apart are the technologies we’re specifically pushing forward,” Moore said. Subject to appropriate regulatory approvals, “We want to give growers another tool … herbicides not traditionally used in cotton. They were used in other crops, but not in cotton fields. “We want to give growers more tools to control specific weeds that are causing them problems.”

Moore said BASF and Stoneville cotton want to introduce native traits and other technologies to prevent diseases and insects and address crop efficiency components such as drought. “We are looking for traits within the germplasm spectrum that allow plants to survive short periods of drought stress and still provide not only yield but also the expected fiber quality,” he said. Moore believes Stoneville cotton has lasted 100 years because the brand has developed a special relationship with growers, something he has no doubt the brand will continue to do for the next 100 years. “Not every cotton field has the same type of problems,” Moore said. “Conditions and situations vary from field to field and what is required of us is to continue to be very close to growers to understand their specific needs.”

Leave a Comment