Following the merger of DuPont and Dow, western Canadian farmers won’t see any major changes for the next year or so, but be ready for Corteva Agriscience — it will be the new name delivering some familiar products, with promises of more and better things to come.
The Delaware-based Corteva Agriscience won’t fully take to the Canadian agricultural stage until June 2019, but work is already well underway to bring together the Dow and DuPont product lines, personnel and expertise for the new company roll out, says Bryce Eger, the recently named commercial unit leader for Corteva in Canada. Corteva is the blending of DuPont Pioneer, DuPont Crop Protection and Dow AgroSciences. It will be the ag division of the recently merged company called DowDuPont. (And for anyone keeping track — Corteva (pronounced kohr-‘teh-vah) is derived from a combination of words meaning “heart” and “nature”.)
Eger, who was born and raised in Moosomin, Sask., worked for Cargill Limited for several years and has been with DuPont Pioneer since 2009, says the products and people that made the legacy companies, Dow and DuPont, successful in Western Canada will remain under the new company name.
“From the farmer’s perspective what won’t change is the team or network of really good people they are familiar in working with,” says Eger. “We have a very strong footprint of people across the geography and that won’t change. The new company will keep that in place as we know we have to be able to service what we sell.”
Many of the crop protection products marketed under the respective Dow and DuPont names will also remain within the new company structure. As part of the merger, DuPont did divest of several products — sold to FMC Agricultural Products — on both the field crop and horticultural side of the business.
“Dow AgroScience had a very strong cereal portfolio, for example, and DuPont had some very strong cereal products as well,” says Eger. “So we divested of products anywhere it was determined there was a significant overlap.” For the most part however, the Dow and DuPont crop protection lines will continue under the Corteva banner.
What will be new under Corteva is a new seed brand name — Brevant. Dow Seeds, D-Series and Nexera canola will be marketed under the Brevant brand. Starting in 2019, farmers in Western Canada will be able to purchase Brevant seeds through select retails. Pioneer canola, corn and soybeans will continue to be sold under the Pioneer brand name.
The merger creates a larger company than either of the individual marriage partners. Along with that comes a larger Corteva Agriscience research and development initiative, putting more resources into the development of both seed lines and crop protection products, says Eger. Western research facilities at Carman, Man., Saskatoon, Sask., Lethbridge, Alta., and Edmonton, Alta., will not only remain, but include research and development personnel for new crop varieties as well as crop protection products at all facilities.
“The research staff will have their respective specialties, of course, but felt it would be beneficial to have an integration of crop protection and seed research and development at each location to work together.
While there are plenty of details still to be worked out in the transition to Corteva, Eger emphasized the focus of the new company is all about agriculture. He says with the Dow and DuPont agriculture was just one division of multi-faceted corporations.
“Our focus is on the primary producers and then that carries through to everyone who consumes food. It is reflected in our purpose statement — to enrich the lives of those who produce and those who consume food ensuring progress for generations to come. So ultimately if the farmer does well they are going to be producing the food the world needs.”
With that overall purpose in mind, he says the goal is to make a smooth transition to the new company “maintaining products and services with as much consistency and stability as possible.”