Post-patent crop protection products, sometimes called generics, have been available to farmers for years. But one company is taking an aggressive stance in the business by bringing new premix tools to farmers.
“Atticus LLC started over five years ago,” says Sam Knott, Atticus LLC director, central U.S. crops. “We have launched nearly 200 herbicides, insecticides and fungicides to meet farmers’ needs from coast to coast.”
Post-patent products are catching on for a couple of reasons. First, farmers are looking for cost advantages after six years of low commodity prices. Second, there are more popular products that have come off patent in recent years, opening this opportunity for the market.
The Farm Progress call with Atticus was aimed at discussing postemergence opportunities as planting continues. “We have products for soybeans and corn that can assist with postemergence weed control,” Knott says. “And we have a robust portfolio of fungicides.”
There are familiar active ingredient names in the list, from azoxystrobin to metolachlor to mesotrione. “We’re using active ingredients and technology that retailers and farmers have had confidence in for years,” he says.
Knott points to the company’s Radius ESQ product, which is azoxystrobin and difenoconazole. “This is designed for the frogeye leaf spot geography, and it is a valuable fungicide for the soybean acre.”
Targeted market approach
This relatively new player in the space has committed to market through retailers. “We have a committed path to retailers to provide access to our products,” Knott says. “We're very clear about that; we’re committed to the locally owned retailer base for our Atticus brands and products.”
In a changing market, where online ordering has become a path to the farmer, Knott explains that Atticus is moving through retailers. If the retailer, through a customer portal, offers online ordering — that’s different. For Atticus, the plan is to market through dealers only.
As for that postemergence strategy for 2020? “We have safened metolachlor for residual control and many post-applied herbicides designed to kill actively growing weeds, and a lot of products that keep weeds from growing in the fields. We also have a robust portfolio of fungicides to treat diseases in crops ranging from soybeans to almonds to sugarbeets,” he says.
For Atticus, there’s a large library of active ingredients to draw from to create its branded products. And it’s targeting both commodity crops and higher-end businesses. “We have a growing presence in the citrus market, and in California our grape and almond portfolio is attractive,” Knott says.
Atticus also offers products for wheat acres, including plant-growth regulators to keep high-yield wheat from lodging.
Yet, he shares a not-unfamiliar refrain he says farmers should focus on each season: “No matter what the crop, start clean and stay clean. In the post market, if you haven’t applied a residual, talk to your local ag retailer and look at options for your next window of application. There are residual products [in the post-patent world] to keep summer annuals and perennial weeds controlled.”
And while the company has launched 200 products in the last two years, Knott says Atticus isn’t done. “We have a very robust portfolio of different products and active ingredients we’re pursuing. We want to be the relevant, simple and reliable partner for the market.”
Learn more at atticusllc.com. The site lists products and shows the product name that may be more familiar.