It’s been a huge start to the year for BASF’s Agricultural Solutions team in Somersby. Between navigating the threat of bushfires and a global pandemic, the team have celebrated the expansion of their production facility and started producing a brand-new inoculant for the first time in Australia. The team is working hard to respond to customer demand and have already exceeded volume forecasts for the market-leading biological inoculant, Nodulator.
In early February, BASF’s Somersby colleagues celebrated the official opening of the newly renamed ‘BioTech Solutions’ site. The facility has undergone a $1.6 million expansion to allow it to produce Nodulator for the first time in Australia. Previously produced in North America, this expansion allows BASF to keep up with growing local demand for the product.
To get to the point of local production was no easy feat however, as the team were up against a very tight deadline to ensure that the product was available for the winter sowing season. “It’s been an amazing achievement under challenging conditions and timelines,” said Gavin Jackson, Head of BASF Agricultural Solutions - Australia & New Zealand. “The Somersby team have had to get the plant built in record time and start to manufacture a totally new product, with a new manufacturing process, just weeks before the season. The fact that they have hit daily targets since production commenced, and exceeded volume forecasts of Nodulator, is outstanding.”
Kathleen Johns, Somersby Site Manager, says that it’s an exciting time for the team and they’re enjoying working out of the expanded production site. “The addition of granule manufacturing to our site is an exciting development which showcases BASF’s dedication to local production and biological growth in the agriculture market,” she said. “Our team has a high level of expertise when it comes to biological manufacture, so granule production fits the scope of work performed at Somersby perfectly. We’re very proud to be able to deliver this capability right in time for the 2020 pulse season.”