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Corn+Soybean Digest

Landec Ag Acquires Heartland Hybrids

Landec Corporation,a developer and marketer of technology-based polymer products for food, agricultural and licensed partner applications, announces that its agricultural seed subsidiary, Landec Ag, Inc., has acquired Heartland Hybrids, Inc., the second largest direct marketer of seed corn. Landec Ag, through its Fielder’s Choice Direct® brand, is the leading direct marketer of seed corn.

Under the agreement, Landec Ag will acquire the assets of Heartland Hybrids, which is based in Dassel, MN. The agreement is expected to close before the end of August 2005.

Tom Crowley, Landec Ag’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “The acquisition of Heartland Hybrids will solidify Landec Ag’s leading market position in the direct-to-the-farm sales channel for agricultural seeds. In addition, adding the Heartland Hybrids® brand to Landec Ag’s Fielder’s Choice Direct brand will strengthen our market share leverage to access the best genetics and traits in the industry, as well as advancing our Intellicoat® Early Plant® technology in the market place.”

Heartland Hybrids was formed in 1996 as a direct to-the-farm marketer of hybrid seed corn. Heartland Hybrids has a strong regional presence in the northern Corn Belt with their headquarters in Dassel, MN, and a regional office in Lake View, IA. Heartland Hybrids sells a comprehensive line of hybrid seed corn to more than 3,000 farmers in 35 states through its direct marketing capabilities. Heartland Hybrids has also developed a new computer-based Geographic Information System called CS³, an advanced system developed to enhance the positioning of seed varieties and biotechnology traits for increased product performance.

Landec Ag was formed in 1997 with the acquisition of Fielder’s Choice Direct, the ninth largest hybrid seed company in the U.S. Landec Ag, based in Monticello, IN, sells a comprehensive line of hybrid seed corn to more than 12,000 farmers in over 40 states through its unique electronic, direct marketing and consultative selling approach. This direct-to-the-farm marketing approach allows Landec Ag to bypass the traditional and costly farmer-dealer system used by most other seed companies.

In addition, Landec Ag sells its proprietary Intellicoat seed coatings to farmers and seed companies. Landec Ag’s Early Plant corn is designed to allow corn farmers to safely and reliably plant hybrid corn three to four weeks earlier than normal, as the Intellicoat coating prevents germination until the soil reaches the optimal soil germination temperature. Landec Ag also sells a delay coating, called Pollinator Plus®, to seed companies which delays the seed germination of inbred corn, thus extending the pollination window and reducing risks and increasing yields for the seed companies in the production of hybrid seed corn.

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