Bayer CropScience has acquired the sole European distribution rights for the biological fungicide Contans WG from Belchim Crop Protection NV effective Oct. 1, 2014.

This acquisition further strengthens Bayer CropScience's crop protection portfolio and is another step in building up a comprehensive range of biologicals as part of integrated crop solutions. The transfer of the business is planned to take a phased approach, country by country, over the coming 12 months starting Nov. 1, 2014. Financial details were not disclosed.

Together with seeds, chemical crop protection products, services and proactive stewardship measures, biologicals constitute Bayer CropScience's response to customer needs. "This acquisition means we will be able to offer European farmers another established biological solution to combat fungal diseases in arable and vegetable crops," said Mike Miille, Head of Business Management Biologics at Bayer CropScience.

"We will further develop integrated crop solutions hand-in-hand with farmers combining our wide range of innovative chemicals with strong biological brands like Votivo, Serenade and Sonata. As part of integrated spray plans, Contans WG will help to increase yields and boost the quality of harvested produce."

Following its successful market introduction by Belchim Crop Protection, based in Londerzeel, Belgium, Contans WG has become one of the biggest biological fungicides currently used in conventional agriculture in Europe and is widely recognized as a model for success in the biocontrol market.

Contans WG is presently commercialized in major European agricultural markets such as France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland.

The product is used in a variety of crops such as oilseed rape, sunflowers and various vegetable crops and pulses, as a soil treatment product in the open field or in greenhouses. Contans WG contains the highly active spores of the soil fungus Coniothyrium minitans (strain CON/ M/91-08), which effectively attacks the surviving structures (sclerotia) of the plant pathogens Sclerotinia spp. in the soil.

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