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DuPont to buy up farm software firm Granular

Company to join merged DuPont/Dow's 'digital ag ecosystem'

A San Francisco company providing farm management software to growers in four provinces and about three dozen states is poised to join the digital arm of DuPont and Dow’s merged agribusiness.

DuPont — which as of last week had all regulatory approvals and clearances lined up to complete its merger with Dow Chemical — announced Wednesday it has signed a deal to buy software firm Granular, Inc. for an undisclosed sum.

Granular, set up in 2014, now serves growers covering nearly two million acres in the U.S., Canada and Australia. Its products include its Farm Management Software (FMS) line and, in the U.S., AcreValue.com, which it bills as “the leading digital marketplace for farmland real estate.”

DuPont executive vice-president James Collins, in a release, described the deal for Granular as “an important component of our commitment to leading and shaping the ag tech market.”

Specifically, DuPont said Wednesday it’s creating a “digital agriculture ecosystem to support information sharing, services and commerce.”

Buying Granular, the company said, “will enable the business to connect growers, analytics and public and private data to advance our vision for a digitally connected, more sustainable agriculture industry.”

Collins hailed Granular as “a clear market leader, as evidenced by its rapidly growing customer base and its existing partnerships with agriculture industry leaders, such as the recently announced integration of Granular into John Deere’s Operation Center.”

Granular’s affiliations other than Deere include Precision Planting, the planting equipment arm of Monsanto subsidiary The Climate Corp. Farm equipment manufacturer Agco last month announced an unrelated deal to buy Precision Planting for an undisclosed sum.

DuPont’s takeover of Granular is expected to close in DuPont’s third quarter. Granular CEO and co-founder Sid Gorham then becomes head of digital agriculture for DuPont, an arm that also includes DuPont’s Encirca agronomic software business.

“I am confident that as part of DuPont we will make a bigger impact even faster. DuPont shares our vision for using technology to help farms improve their dollar yield, not just their bushel yield,” Gorham said in DuPont’s release.

Granular’s advisory board today includes a Prairie producer as one of two non-U.S. members. Kristjan Hebert, managing partner of Hebert Grain Ventures (HGV) at Moosomin, Sask., is also board chairman for Global Ag Risk Solutions and a member of Bayer Cropscience’s Grower Advisory Forum.

DuPont and Dow recently agreed to close their merger deal effective Aug. 31, at which point they plan to spin off their combined seed and crop protection businesses into a separate company. — AGCanada.com Network

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