New Seed Brand Focus

Pam Smith
By  Pam Smith , Crops Technology Editor
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Corteva Agriscience will take seed to market in a variety of ways as they combine seed brands. (Logo courtesy of Corteva)

DECATUR, Ill. (DTN) -- The joining of Dow and DuPont in 2017 also brought more than a dozen agricultural brands together selling seeds, genetics and traits in the U.S. On Wednesday, May 9, DowDuPont's agriculture division, Corteva Agriscience, announced a new multi-channel, multi-brand strategy that will focus seed marketing, distribution and licensing opportunities.

Pioneer remains the global flagship brand for the company, said Judd O'Connor, vice president, North America, Corteva Agriscience. "We will continue to bring unique product offerings through Pioneer, and we will continue to strengthen that brand and go to market through grower-direct sales agencies."

"It [Pioneer] is one of the foundations of the organization," O'Connor told DTN in an interview. Pioneer corn hybrids and the majority of Pioneer soybean varieties are exclusive to the Pioneer brand, and the plan is to continue to do that, he added.

In addition, Corteva Agriscience will go to market through five regional corn and soybean seed brands in the U.S. Those include Dairyland Seed, Hoegemeyer, NuTech, Seed Consultants and Terral. Each will have a strengthened and expanded portfolio.

Five other brands will be blended into the regional lineup. Discontinued brands include: Brodbeck, Curry, Doebler's, Pfister and Prairie Brand. O'Connor said popular products from these brands will continue to be available through the remaining regional seed brands. There's no plan to sell those brands.

"The real hope is to take the employees, the dealer network, the customer relationships, the very strong legacy that those brands have had over the years and combine it into the five remaining anchor brands," O'Connor said. The company stated in a news release that the majority of employees and dealers who supported these brands will be offered positions or dealerships in the new structure.

Deciding which brands to meld was not an easy decision, O'Connor acknowledged. Geography played a big role. Hoegemeyer will be the regional of choice in the Western Corn Belt; NuTech in the central Corn Belt; Dairyland in the northern Corn Belt; Seed Consultants in the Eastern Corn Belt and Terral in the South.

The U.S. retail channel (local cooperatives and national distribution networks, for example) will be served by Mycogen and Terral. The company will maintain the AgVenture independent network of regional seed companies and will continue to sell cotton seed through its PhytoGen brand and alfalfa through Alforex.

"We will be competing in the retail market in a much more robust way than we have in the past," O'Connor said.

Two independent companies, Beck's and Burrus, have been joined in the past with Pioneer under a slightly different distribution agreement. O'Connor said some of those details are still being worked out. "But in the near term, Beck's and Burrus will continue to be distributors of our products," he added.

"We had a significant number of brands, we combined a couple of different germplasm pools from several legacy companies, we have a trait library that is very robust and will be able to serve not only the Pioneer brands, but also the regional brands and also a licensing model to make not only our germplasm but also our licensing of traits available in a more robust manner," O'Connor said.

O'Connor sums up the changes in this way: This is a multi-channel, multi-brand strategy with Pioneer being the flagship. The regional anchor brands will be very geographically focused with their own identities within those geographies. They will be offering the retail channel another option.

In addition, O'Connor said the company remains hopeful for further import approvals to begin licensing the Enlist trait system. "We are very excited about E3 (tolerance to the new 2,4-D, glyphosate and glufosinate) technology. We've been very committed to the Xtend technology, and that will remain part of our portfolio. However, when we get E3 approvals, we see that as giving growers another very robust option.

"How we transition that Roundup Ready Xtend and E3 soybean portfolio --there's a lot of work to be done there yet," O'Connor said.

DuPont Pioneer and Dow AgroSciences also stated that they will honor program, product and service obligations for existing seed orders. Customers and distributors should contact their local seed representative or account manager with questions.

Find details on DowDuPont's agriculture division, Corteva Agriscience, becoming an independent, publically traded company by June 1, 2019, here: http://www.dow-dupont.com/…

Pamela Smith can be reached at Pamela.smith@dtn.com

Follow her on Twitter @PamSmithDTN

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Pam Smith