Off-patent ag chem maker buys Prairie distributor

A Des Moines-area manufacturer of off-patent ag herbicides and pesticides plans to bring 16 of its wares into Canada’s West by buying a Prairie ag chemical distributor.

Albaugh, Inc., which runs a manufacturing plant north of Kansas City and supplies the generic glyphosate Clearout 41 Plus in Canada through Farmers of North America (FNA), on Monday announced it has bought AgWest Group for an undisclosed sum.

AgWest, based in Calgary, provides inputs to 38 independent retailers in Western Canada, and is already a distributor for the Canadian arm of Danish ag chem firm Cheminova.

Apart from the Cheminova product line, AgWest also distributes various fertilizers, fuel additives, UAP products and Sotera pumps and meters. AgWest also offers financing through Farm Credit Canada, and insurance and employee benefit programs through other suppliers, for use by its retailer clients.

"With the AgWest purchase, Albaugh gains a valuable distribution channel into the Canadian market," Greg Warren, Albaugh’s commercial director, said in a release. "More importantly, it gives western Canadian retailers access to our extensive and competitively priced line of off-patent crop protection products."

Albaugh, which bills itself as the largest privately-held off-patent generic crop protection product maker in the U.S., said it will introduce 16 off-patent herbicide, insecticide, fungicide and plant growth regulator products on the Prairies under its Agri Star trademark.

"Access to competitively priced off-patent products is critical to the producer’s ability to trim input costs," Warren said. "We will offer the western Canadian producer access to the off-patent products they want and need at competitive prices."

Independent retailers dealing with Albuagh can expect "growth opportunities in fertilizer, crop protection and other crop inputs," he added. "Giving retailers greater buying power and access to quality off-patent products enables them to offer growers greater choices and ultimately better profit."

Albaugh on Monday also announced Ron DeKok will be its country manager for Canada, coming to the job with marketing experience in the fertilizer and ag chem industries in both Canada and the U.S.

Related story:
ClearOut 41 Plus available for direct sale: FNA, Dec. 11, 2007

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