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Dow AgroSciences True to Its Word

Indiana-based company acquires another Indiana seed company.

Tom J Bechman 1, Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer

November 9, 2008

2 Min Read

Back in the heat of early August Dow AgroSciences spokespersons told media gathered for a conference and field tour that the company intended to announce more acquisitions of seed companies before the end of the year. That word came just after Dow announced purchasing Dairyland Seeds, a regional player, based in Wisconsin. Dairyland markets in Indiana as well.

This time Dow AgroSciences announces the purchase of Brodbeck Seed, a long-established local company based in Wabash, Ind. The name of the smaller seed company will remain the same, except it will now be Brodbeck Seed LLC instead of Brodbeck Seed, Inc.

Stan Leland of Brodbeck Seed views it as a partnership. He was company president, and will remain with the business to lead Brodbeck. "Our goal was to find a partner that had the same fundamental business philosophies as we have at Brodbeck," Leland said last week. Brodbeck has operated for 75 years. Strong in several areas, the company is well-known for its work with wheat, and its interest in high-yield wheat management.

This latest acquisition, financial terms of which were not disclosed, makes Dow AgroSciencnes' strategy even clearer. So far this year it has purchased either strong regional or local companies in the far south, with Triumph Seeds in Texas, in the north, in the west and now in the eastern Corn Belt. Their flagship seed company is still Mycogen Seeds.

Dow is looking forward to working with the companies it has acquired to commercialize its Herculex trait for insect protection. Coming soon will be SmartStax, the eight-gene hybrids developed through an agreement with Monsanto. Those hybrids will also be sold through the companies that Dow AgroSciences is acquiring, according to the most recent statement from Dow AgroSciences.

Corn isn't the only market Dow AgroSciences is looking at for the future, spokespersons note. They eventually hope to include their Dow Herbicide tolerant technologies in both corn and soybeans. The leading DHT trait under development is tolerance to 2,4D. This trait has been on display in growing, mandatory-destruct crop plots at the Farm Progress Show for the past two years- at both Decatur, Ill., in '07 and Boone, Iowa in '08.

Brodbeck-owned production and distribution assets will now be operated by two new companies, called Advanced Ag Resources, Inc., and Accelerated Ag Distribution, respectively. Robert Hettmansperger will lead both companies. Dow AgroSciences purchased all sales, marketing and agronomy assets, plus the product development program and associated assets.

One difference seems apparent between Dow AgroSciences and Monsanto's strategy when acquiring companies. Monsanto typically does not invest in the agronomic assets, including the germplasm, of the company it purchases. The prime example was Stewart Seeds at Greensburg. When Monsanto purchased Stewarts, it bought the marketing arm, but did not buy the genetics under development by Stewart Seeds at the time.

About the Author(s)

Tom J Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer

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