Gavin Heard appointed Head of BASF Australia’s Seeds & Traits business
Gavin Heard has been named as the new Head of BASF Australia’s Seeds & Traits business. A BASF veteran, Heard has more than 20 years’ experience with the company having worked in a range of commercial, technical, development and regulatory roles for BASF in Australia and abroad.
With over two decades of experience leading the development of crop protection products across Australia and through Asia, Heard will assume the leadership of BASF’s Seeds business during an exciting period of growth.
"Our seed business is in great shape at the moment. In addition to several class-leading varieties of Invigor canola, there is also the pending launch of the LibertyLink canola system, several new high yielding wheat varieties in the pipeline and the recent announcement of our Ideltis™ Hybrid wheat program,” said Gavin Jackson, Head of BASF Agricultural Solutions, Australia & New Zealand.
"Gavin brings extensive experience and a track record of achievement leading our product development over the past 10 years – a period where we developed and registered over 25 new products. Combining Gavin’s skills, experience and leadership with our already high performing seeds team will see us continue to develop innovative traits and varieties in wheat and canola for Australian farmers."
Central to Heard’s vision for BASF's Seeds business is supporting farmers with sustainable product innovations.
"I truly believe that farming is about feeding the world and the challenge of supporting the more than nine billion people who will live on this planet by 2050. That’s an awesome and inspiring responsibility that farmers take seriously," he explains.
"In order to do this, farmers are going to require ongoing productivity improvements, from less land and producing in an increasingly sustainable way. I believe BASF has a unique opportunity to improve a farmers' productivity and sustainability through a range of transforming cropping technologies."
Heard is particularly looking forward to the launch of BASF’s first Liberty Link InVigor variety, LT 4530P, in 2022. The Liberty Herbicide and triazine-tolerant LT 4530P variety will offer farmers a new tool to manage weeds that have developed resistance to other herbicides. It also contains BASF’s unique PodGuard technology to give farmers improved harvestability, reduced shedding of seed and seed loss in canola, more efficient direct harvest and greater yield security in more extreme conditions.
"These technologies not only increase a farmer’s productivity but are also a significant leap forward in sustainability, with the potential to reduce on-farm traffic and consequently carbon emissions, better secure yield and assist in managing climate risk," Heard concluded.
The successor of Heard’s previous role, Head of Development - Crop Protection, will be subject to a future announcement.