With its recent acquisition of American Cyanamid, BASF, in one swift stroke of the pen, almost doubled its product line. As of August, the company was offering no fewer than 34 products in rice, cotton, soybeans and corn, most of them herbicides.

The acquisition, the largest in the corporation's history, moves BASF into the top tier of crop protection manufacturers. Combined sales of American Cyanamid and BASF in 1999 were around $3.6 billion. The acquisition is projected to save about $250 million. BASF also announced plans to launch at least two active ingredients each year through 2006.

In the coming months, the company will integrate its operations and people and streamline its product line.

The acquisition by BASF "brings the option of a large portfolio of products," said Greg Stapleton, a technical service representative with BASF. "We can provide the grower with a complete system of weed control from one company, a sort of one-stop shop. It gives BASF the ability to provide a premier, technical weed control program to growers for an economical cost value benefit.

"In corn particularly, we have Clearfield corn with Lightning (former American Cyanamid product). We can put products like Guardsman down, followed by Lightning plus Distinct. We also have Celebrity Plus and Frontier."

Between 3 million and 5 million acres of Clearfield corn were planted in the United States in 2000, according to Stapleton.