Seeing is Believing: U.S. Crop Protection Leaders Visit Pine Level Research Farm

Team encourages others to get their boots dirty and see first-hand what’s happening at the BASF Showcase Plots.


On July 20, BASF’s U.S. Crop Protection leadership team spent the morning touring Pine Level Research Farm in Princeton, N.C.


The farm is one of five in the U.S. where trials are conducted to evaluate the performance of BASF seeds, seed treatments, and crop protection practices. The other farms are in Fargo, N.D., Lubbock, Tex., Seymour, Ill., and Story City, I.A.

Scott Kay, Vice President – U.S. Crop Protection, proactively coordinated the leadership team’s visit to the farm.


“It’s great to be at Pine Level Research Farm because of all the collaboration that goes on,” said Kay. “There’s a lot of hard work in front of us because we’re at the front end of our tour season. It’s great to see the various groups — seed, seed traits, biology and tech services — all working together to see how our crops perform.”


The visit was a trial run of sorts for customer tours that were scheduled to take place the week of July 26. More than 200 customers were expected to visit over a four-day period that week.

“Seeing is believing,” said Mike Hofer, Director – U.S. Crop West Region. “When we go out and look at the plots, and then take our customers to the plots, there’s something about showing them the plot next to something else. We can say it all day long, but when you can show it and say it all at the same time – and have a comparison – it means a lot. So, I’m encouraging my team to continue to go out and look at the plots, and to look at the plots with customers. Once they see it, they’re a whole lot more likely to buy it.”


The farm visit was an opportunity for the team to look at various trials involving herbicide, fungicide, and seed programs, and to examine crop protection and plant health initiatives. The team learned about the performance of various BASF products in the field, including Engenia® herbicide, Liberty® herbicide, Revytek TM fungicide Stoneville® cotton seed, Veltyma TM fungicide and more, and their roles in increasing farmers' yield.


The visit was particularly eye-opening for those who aren’t typically out in the field.

“So much of the time, I hear about our products and see lots of photos,” said Angela Snow, Human Resources Business Partner. “But it’s been real exciting to be able to get out in the field and see our products and innovations really come alive. One of my favorite parts was our fungicides – learning about our products on peanuts. I would encourage anyone, if they have the opportunity, to come out and check out our products in action.”


“As a finance guy, I spend most of my time behind a computer analyzing spreadsheets,” said Justin Cushing, Business Unit Controller. “But to actually be here to see the value creation and to see the products is really encouraging – for today and for the future.”


“Normally, my job takes place in the office back in RTP,” said Michael Duerk, Director of Business Operations “But here I am today on the trial farm and it’s great to be out here in the fields seeing our innovative products, how they’re applied, how they’re used, and even more, the great results they’re producing. I encourage everyone from the team in the office to come out here to the trial farm. We have a great team here and you can see how innovative products are coming to life and helping yield for farmers and for BASF.”


Farm visits can even bring excitement to those who’ve been there and done that.


“What I’m always excited about when I get my feet dirty and get back to the farm is seeing our products in action,” said Nick Fassler, U.S. Crop Director of Technical Services. “That’s one of the things that can instill the most confidence in our brands. Along with that is confidence throughout our salesforce, when we get to show the crop protection chemistry, how it works, and how it performs.


“The other thing I’m really excited about when I get out on the farm is the overall collaboration,” continued Fassler. “It’s great to see our chemistry team working with our seeds and traits team working with our seed treatment team pulling that whole system, that whole approach, together to build the best integrated offerings for our customers. I encourage everyone this summer, and this fall, to get out to see our technology. Let’s take that confidence and roll it into fall sales so we can be well positioned for 2022.”


Robbie Upton, Director of Marketing, grew up on a farm. He enjoyed visiting Pine Level Research Farm, and the important lessons of the day.


“I’m having a great time seeing our technology come to life,” Upton said. “That’s one of the things I enjoy most about this. We spend so much time thinking about the technology and the science. Then you get a chance to see where science and application come together. We’ve got a team here that’s working really hard to bring our recommendations to life. Not just what the textbook says, or what the research says, but what makes value and outcomes for the farmers.”


Brianna Reeves, Tech Services Rep – North Carolina, South Carolina & Southeast Virginia, enjoyed hosting BASF team members who don’t often get out to the farm.


“There’s a lot of work and a lot of collaboration between our groups to really bring the research to the forefront and answer a lot of questions about our products as we launch them into the market,” she said. “Today, we walked everyone through some herbicide plots and looked at our Liberty herbicide and Engenia herbicide programs as well as some of the demos we’re going to share with retail customers in our field tours next week. We also talked about our Stoneville cotton portfolio as well as our plant health fungicide portfolio. It’s been a very action-packed morning.


“It’s important to put your boots on the ground, to get some mud in your shoes, to really see what’s out in the field,” she added. “I used to work in an office setting. When you’re in an office, there can be a little bit of a disconnect sometimes between what’s going on in the field and how a business is managed. So, it was a great opportunity to have the leadership team out here to see what we do with research and how that relates to sales.”


Kay reiterated the importance of employees and customers experiencing the research farm environment.


“For me, the best part is that they’re giving people a chance, right here in the North Carolina area, to come out and see this,” he said. “It would be great if some of the local team members came out and helped showcase the plots with customers. I extend this offer to all in U.S. Crop: if you’re putting on plot tours this summer or this fall, make sure to extend an invitation to the leadership team. We’re more than happy to come out and we also want to experience what you have to show and tell customers.”


To schedule your visit to Pine Level Farm, and to get your boots dirty, contact Brianna Reeves at After all, seeing is believing.

What others had to say...