Farm Guide VIC : 2012-13
New Product Development: Tomorrow's innovations are funded by the purchasing decisions you make today 59 Research & Development Over the years of modern crop protection many products have been commercialised for the protection of food and fbre crops from the damage caused by pests and diseases or from the competitive effects of weeds. The frst products of the synthetic era were developed over 70 years ago, and were often broad-spectrum and applied at high rates. In time these compounds gave way to chemicals with more specifc activity, lower use rates and improved user and environmental safety. In the 1970's and 1980's a number of new chemicals were introduced with very specifc modes of action which led to the development of resistance in many target pests and weed populations. Consequently the need for new chemistry remains strong but the ability to discover and deliver new chemistry is more challenging than ever. Not only are there fewer research and development companies available to invest in product development, but the funds available are linked to sales revenue, which suffers as the market value is eroded through generic competition. In addition the hurdles for gaining product registrations are higher than ever before with the cost of developing a new chemical now seven times greater than it was around 30 years ago.