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DU & Bayer CropScience team up to increase Winter Wheat in North America

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Project aims to benefit wildlife habitat and take action on sustainable agriculture.

Research Triangle Park, NC; Memphis, TN; Calgary, Alberta; Oak Hammock

Marsh, Manitoba: (Jan. 13, 2009) – Bayer CropScience and Ducks Unlimited believe winter wheat has an important role to play in sustainable agriculture on the prairies and have joined forces to launch a North American project called "Winter Cereals: Sustainability in Action."

"By working with Ducks Unlimited, we want to expand the practice of growing winter cereals across the prairies in Canada and the United States," says Bill Buckner, head of North America and President and CEO of Bayer CropScience LP. "We recognize winter wheat is an excellent crop that provides economic advantages to growers when included in cropping rotations while also enhancing waterfowl and other wildlife habitats."

Partnering with Ducks Unlimited under the "Winter Cereals: Sustainability in Action" program, Bayer CropScience will make a commitment of $20 million over five years to:

  • Enable significant research to develop new winter wheat varieties adapted to  prairie climatic conditions while providing grower incentives, technical support and education programs;
  • Promote improvements and research in agronomic practices; and
  • Conduct waterfowl and environmental research to ensure a sustainable habitat and production system.

"As leaders in the agriculture industry we see this initiative as an important and tangible part of delivering on our commitment to sustainable agriculture," says Buckner.

Winter wheat has gained a foothold on North American's prairies with growers. New varieties, improved marketing options and the agronomic advantages provided by winter wheat have made it an attractive choice for many growers.

"The goal of Ducks Unlimited and Bayer CropScience in this initiative is to support this trend by investing in innovations and grower programs," he says.

From a waterfowl conservation standpoint, one of the key limiting factors for continental waterfowl populations is a lack of nesting cover on the prairies. Ducks Unlimited Canada's research has shown that the density of hatched nests in winter wheat fields is 24 times greater than in spring wheat.

"This partnership between Bayer CropScience and Ducks Unlimited has the potential to provide unprecedented opportunities for expanding winter wheat on the prairies," said Don Young, Executive Vice President of Ducks Unlimited. "This is research that will not only benefit Ducks Unlimited waterfowl conservation and habitat efforts in the Prairie Pothole Region in Canada and the U.S., but also provide tremendous advantages to agricultural communities."

From an agronomic perspective, winter wheat provides economic advantages to producers when included in cropping rotations. Winter wheat can yield 10 to 30 percent higher than spring-seeded varieties, and autumn planting allows growers to spread their workload thus reducing potential production risks.

"Partnering with Bayer CropScience is a great example of how a sustainable vision for the agricultural landscape includes both profitable agriculture and habitat conservation," says Jeff Nelson, Ducks Unlimited Canada's Executive Vice President. "Ducks Unlimited Canada is dedicated to working with farmers and the agricultural industry to find pragmatic approaches to waterfowl habitat conservation."

More information on Bayer CropScience/Ducks Unlimited "Winter Cereals: Sustainability in Action" initiative will be available at the following tradeshows and media events.

U.S.:
• Jan. 15-17: The Shot Show, Orlando, Florida
• Jan.  28-30: KMOT Ag Expo, Minot, North Dakota
• Feb. 18-19: International Crop Expo, Grand Forks, North Dakota
• Feb. 23-24: Ag Issues Forum, Grapevine, Texas
• Feb. 26-28: Commodity Classic, Grapevine, Texas

Canada:
• Jan: 12-15: Crop Production Show, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
• Jan. 20-22: Manitoba Ag Days, Brandon, Manitoba
• Jan. 28-30: Farm Tech, Edmonton, Alberta
• Feb. 11-12: Saskatchewan Soil, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
• Feb. 17-19: Manitoba North Dakota Zero Tillage Farmers Association Annual Meeting, Brandon, Manitoba


About Ducks Unlimited 
With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization with more than 12 million acres conserved in North America. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands - nature's most productive ecosystem - and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres important to waterfowl each year. In Canada, up to 70 percent of wetlands have disappeared in settled areas and wetland loss continues at an alarming rate.

Additional information about Ducks Unlimited Canada is available at: www.ducks.ca.
Additional information about Ducks Unlimited U.S. is available at: www.ducks.org.

About Bayer CropScience
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience AG, a subsidiary of Bayer AG with annual sales of about EUR 5.8 billion (2007), is one of the world's leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and plant biotechnology. The company offers an outstanding range of products and extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture and for non-agricultural applications. Bayer Crop¬Science has a global workforce of about 17,800 and is represented in more than 120 countries.

Further information on Bayer CropScience Canada is available at: www.bayercropscience.ca

Further information on Bayer CropScience US is available at: www.bayercropscienceus.com

For more information please contact:

U.S. Contacts:
Beth Roden, Communications Manager
Bayer CropScience U.S.
Phone: (919) 549-2000
beth.roden@bayercropscience.com

Tony Dolle, Director of Communications
Ducks Unlimited U.S.
Phone: (901) 758-3937
tdolle@ducks.org

Canada Contacts:
Derrick Rozdeba, Manager, Integrated Communications
Bayer CropScience Canada
Phone: (403) 723-7432
derrick.rozdeba@bayercropscience.com

Leigh Patterson, Corporate Media Relations Specialist
Ducks Unlimited Canada
Phone: (204) 467-3306
l_patterson@ducks.ca

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