FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Bayer, the world’s largest maker of seeds and pesticides, said U.S. farmers were unperturbed by lawsuits seeking damages from Bayer for an alleged cancer-causing effect of glyphosate-based herbicides.

“There is extremely strong support among farmers, who are imploring us to keep this crop chemical – which is systemically relevant for the preparation of fields – on the market,” Chief Executive Werner Baumann told journalists in a conference call on Wednesday.

He added third-quarter herbicide sales were roughly on par with the year-earlier level.

Bayer, which relies for most of its Crop Science business on U.S. and Brazilian farmers, is now facing 42,700 U.S. plaintiffs blaming its glyphosate-based weedkillers for their cancer, more than twice the tally in July, raising the stakes in the group’s efforts to reach a settlement.

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; editing by Thomas Seythal)