NEW YORK - BASF SE said on Tuesday it has received approval from the Environmental Protection Agency for a new herbicide that it will market as a complement to a popular Monsanto Co herbicide.
Germany-based BASF, the world's largest chemical company by revenue, anticipates its Kixor product will bring in sales of about $200 million a year starting in 2012.
The company has received federal approval to use Kixor in four products tailored to corn, soybeans, citrus fruits and other foods.
BASF expects most major farming states' own environmental agencies will approve the use of the product by the spring planting season.
Kixor helps kill broadleaf leaves by inhibiting the production of chlorophyll, the natural pigment that aids in photosynthesis.
Many broadleaf weeds have developed a resistance to glyphosate, a chemical invented by Monsanto in the 1970s and marketed as Roundup.
Monsanto's patent for that product, which helped it grow into a multinational agricultural giant, expired in 2000.
We're looking for ... that acre that is really not getting the kind of weed control it should get with the glyphosate application, said Nevin McDougall, head of BASF's North America crop protection unit.
BASF expects herbicide sales to double between 2008 and 2012.
BASF shares were up 0.8 percent at 36.09 euros in Frankfurt. (Reporting by Ernest Scheyder, editing by Maureen Bavdek, Dave Zimmerman)