A few weeks ago, Dow Chemical, corporate parent of Dow AgroSciences, announced it was looking at a range of options for the ag-focused division. In the meantime, the division has been hard at work on a number of market moves that appear to streamline the business.
In November, Dow AgroSciences entered into an agreement with a Chinese chemical supplier – Nutrichem - for the sale of the oxyfluorfen. Dow AgroSciences markets the product under such names as Goal, and will be authorized to distribute the products made with the active ingredient supplied by Nutrichem on an ongoing basis. The herbicide provides pre- and postemergence control of a broad spectrum of weeds.
In the statement, Dow AgroSciences said the transaction will be a “good fit for Nutrichem’s existing manufacturing capabilities and expanding product portfolio while allowing Dow AgroSciences to continue to focus on innovative technologies for global agricultural markets.”
In another move, Dow AgroSciences shed its dinitroaniline – or DNA – business to Gowan Company. The acquisition includes global product registrations, trademarks including Treflan, Edge, Team, Bonalan and Sonalan, intellectual property and labels for herbicides based on the molecules trifluralin, benfluralin and ethalfluralin. A formulation facility in Sturgeon County, Alberta, Canada is also part of the transaction. The transaction is to close by end of year, 2015. Financial details were not disclosed.
DNA herbicides were among the first selective products used on the market and have been part of weed management programs for over a half century. The global DNA business to be acquired by Gowan has active registrations in 22 countries including the USA, Canada, Japan, Australia and parts of Europe. These products control annual grasses and small-seeded broadleaf weeds on a wide range of crops including cotton, beans, canola, cereals, crucifers, cucurbits and vegetables.
And most recently, Dow AgroSciences announced it has entered into an agreement with Arcadia Biosciences to form a strategic collaboration to develop and commercialize corn traits. According to the announcement, Arcadia Biosciences has strength in traits that counter abiotic stresses. The aim would be to develop and commercialize new breakthrough yield traits and trait stacks for corn.
Under the collaboration, the companies will jointly develop and commercialize agronomic yield traits, such as nutrient efficiency and water use efficiency, including several traits which have already completed advanced field trials in corn conducted by Dow AgroSciences. These traits would then be combined with Dow AgroSciences’ input traits to create highly competitive trait stacks that maximize farmer revenue and efficiency.
The collaboration will use Dow AgroSciences’ Exzact Precision Technology Platform to enhance and accelerate trait and trait stack development. The company developed that technology in an exclusive license and collaboration agreement with Sangamo BioSciences.
Under the agreement, certain development costs will be co-funded under the collaboration, and the commercial value of resulting traits in corn will be shared by both firms.