Many questions swirled around the seed industry as the DuPont and Dow AgroSciences merger unfolded. How would the seed business be handled? Would there be just one national brand? Would regional brands be folded into one unit? Those questions have now been answered.
While not yet technically effective, the new overarching entity will be Corteva Agriscience. Pioneer from DuPont and Mycogen from Dow AgroSciences will remain as national brands. The 10 regional entities operated by the two companies will be paired into five regional companies.
Brian Barker, commercial unit leader for multi-channel seeds under Corteva Agriscience, offers Farm Progress a behind-the-scenes look at the new business in the following interview:
Is “multi-channel” a name farmers will see? No. it’s just a term which helps us organize our business. Basically, it includes brands and licensing agreements, except the Pioneer brand. Farmer-customers will see familiar names.
Mycogen is Dow AgroSciences’ national brand. Will it continue? Yes. We’ve been making incremental changes to the structure of Mycogen, and those continue. The goal is to position it as a primary supplier for retail outlets. However, we will continue to support Mycogen’s loyal farmer-dealers.
There are two other national brands in the multi-channel unit. They include Phytogen for cotton seed and Alforex for alfalfa seed. They will operate as they did before.
There were also important distribution agreements through other regional companies, including the Power Plus brand sold by Burrus Seed and XL brand sold by Beck’s. Those agreements remain in place. We will also continue supporting AgVenture, a brand name for products distributed by several independent seed companies.
Both parent companies had regional brands. What is happening with those brands? There were 10: four from Dow AgroSciences and six from DuPont. They included Dow AgroSciences’ heritage brands Prairie Brand in Iowa, Dairyland Seed in Wisconsin, Brodbeck in Wabash, Ind., and Pfister in Illinois. The DuPont brands included Doebler’s in Pennsylvania, Seed Consultants in Ohio, Nu-Tech in Iowa, Curry in South Dakota, Hoegemeyer in Nebraska and Terral in Louisiana.
We have paired and positioned these brands so they will have strong regional coverage. The five new multi-channel regional seed companies are Dairyland Seed in the north, Seed Consultants in the east, Nu-Tech in the center of the U.S., Hoegemeyer in the west and Terral in the south.
What is the reaction so far to these changes? It has been encouraging. Change is always hard, but we believe we have positioned these companies so they can grow.
Where will these companies get genetic material and products? We are reorganizing our breeding program under one Corteva Agriscience global umbrella. That includes Pioneer. Going forward, Pioneer will continue to offer unique choices as it has before. However, we have plenty of product choices for all our entities to choose from. Since we have five regional companies, they can zero in on the best products for their region.
We’re confident that there will be plenty of material in the pipeline. At the same time, we’re committed to giving these brands as much marketing support as they need to grow in their respective markets.