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Agrimarketing : Crop Life America
I am confident we can work together to develop new technolo- gies and applications that will advance agriculture. What are the fastest emerging mar- kets for Crop Protection products around the world? by Marcus Heldt, Group Vice President (N.A.), BASF Crop Protection , Research Triangle Park, NC Following years of relatively low global market growth and adverse impact from market devaluation --- linked to generics expansion, GMO adoption, etc. --- we began to see a marked global crop protection (CPC) improve- ment in 2007, driven by overall high commodity prices, strong global demand, and the biofuels boom. These underlying positive trends for the global CPC market are expected to last mid-term (2-3 years). All key agricultural markets are expected to benefit from this positive development. Additionally, the phase out of older products offers good opportuni- ties to replace legacy chemistry with innovative, higher value solutions. Regionally, we see particularly strong growth in Eastern Europe, continued improvements in Brazil and Argentina, despite traditional volatility, and good growth potential in North America. Regardless of the region, we con- tinue to see growers searching for ways to get more return from every acre. This will continue to be driven by the dramatically increasing demand from limited production acreage. Thankfully, growers here in the U.S. and in other regions have the ability to adopt new ideas and tech- nologies to meet these formidable challenges. This strong emphasis on yield and productivity improvements is offer- ing excellent growth potential in corn, soybeans, wheat and canola. Farmers are increasingly realizing the value of investing in modern technology offered in fungicides, seed treatment, and other production tools. What is the current state of the U.S. Crop Protection distribution channel and what changes do you see coming? by John Rabby, Pres/CEO, Mahketshim Agan of North America, Raleigh, NC The crop protection industry is maturing in terms of overall growth and innovation, but by no means is it stagnant. As consolidation continues from top to bottom, the industry and its channel partners in distribution and retail sales are undergoing signifi- cant changes. We like to refer to this as the "post-patent" period. Like the industry's initial stage when new molecules rolled out one after another, and the biotech stage was remarkable for the marriage of genetic traits and crop protection, this post-patent phase offered a new set of chal- lenges and opportunities for channel partners. Post-patent products are cap- turing an increas- ingly larger share of the crop protection market. Initially this change exerted disconcerting pressure on price, even among prod- ucts that were still on patent. But in the past few years significant new opportunities have opened for distrib- ution channel members to get aboard the post-patent wave and move to improved positions of profitability, provide better value propositions to their customers and provide less restrictive trade practices. The value proposition has taken hold among farmers, who are viewing price as just one component of a purchase decision. MANA, with over 60 years of manufacturing expertise, has shown the channel and end-users that post- patent products can be backed by dedicated and current field develop- ment testing, best-in-class formula- tions, full label parity, and highly professional and knowledgeable business management. This approach to the market enables the channel to select prod- ucts wisely, will help channel part- ners continue to be profitable and assure their role as the primary source of agronomics, services and sales for their customers. What is the future of the crop protec- tion industry in North America? by Trevor Thorley, COO/Pres, Valent U.S.A. Corp., Walnut Creek, CA I am optimistic about the future of the crop protection industry for many reasons. First and foremost, we have a major role in the production of healthy and abundant food, and helping to create renewable resources. In addition, growers have many unmet needs that require new solutions to help them compete and thrive in a global economy. Research-based companies, such as Valent and our parent company, Sumitomo Chemical Company, Limited, are committed to providing new technology-based solutions to the ever-changing challenges growers face in North America. The one constant I see is change. Strong commodity prices are driving investment and optimism in the agricultural industry today. We will see more seed trait offer- ings, more seed protection prod- ucts, more off- patent competi- tion, more grower, distribution and agrochemi- cal company consolidation and continued regulatory pressure. Change is the norm, and companies that do not adapt will find fewer opportunities. In this industry, people and will- ingness to change make a huge dif- ference. Leadership such as that of CropLife America will bring impor- tant issues to the forefront and help guide the crop protection industry. Working together, we will help to ensure farmers can supply more, and increasingly discriminating, con- sumers in an efficient and sustain- able way. Innovative thinking and new solutions will continue to bring value to the marketplace. AM 20 AgriMarketing CropLife America Supplement Heldt Rabby Thorley PAST-PRESENT-FUTURE/continued from page 18
January February 2008