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Whitmire Microgen Acquisition Supercharges BASF Ornamental Portfolio

August 18, 2009

A footnote among the Whitmire Microgen acquisition at the end of 2008 was the addition of some powerful horticultural products to the BASF Turf & Ornamental business.

“Everyone knows the Whitmire deal really boosted the BASF Pest Control group,” explains Thavy Un, Marketing Manager, BASF Turf & Ornamentals. “But we have added about 17 new products to our portfolio as well.”

BASF did not have a strong presence in ornamentals until 2007 when the group brought back some established products like Cygnus® and Stature® fungicides and registered its own Insignia® fungicide for ornamental applications. 

2008 saw the addition of new BASF chemistry in the form of Pageant™ fungicide and Tower® and FreeHand™ 1.75G herbicides and the business began to grow. 

This year by including the acquisition of Whitmire Microgen the product portfolio gets exponentially stronger.

“Whitmire has a great group of insecticides and that fills a hole in our product line-up,” said Thavy.  “We are also excited by the company’s ability to take an active ingredient and put it into an aerosol can for application in a greenhouse.  They call this their Total Release technology.”

A Total Release product is essentially just a professional pesticide in an aerosol can that, when activated, can release its contents within the confines of a greenhouse in a matter of minutes.  The product is released into the air and then slowly coats the plant material protecting it from insects and disease.  Depending on the product it can cover anywhere from 1,500 to 3,000 square feet at a time.

“The formulation team that developed these products is excited to have an opportunity to work with our active ingredients,” added Thavy.  “And we are interested in what they can do to help us differentiate our products.  They are already working on putting Pageant into a Total Release can.”

The total release products are developed and manufactured at the former Whitmire and now BASF site in St. Louis.  Known as a center of excellence for the new Pest Control Solutions group, this location will also manufacture the new BASF product offerings for ornamentals. 

While formulations team in St. Louis gets to work on that, the T&O team is looking at possible applications on the turf side of the business. 

“While it can be daunting to learn about 17 new products, it’s been a very interesting experience for us and, given the future potential of the Total Release technology and our AI’s, these are exciting times for all involved,” said Thavy.


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