Farmers looking for their usual Dow and DuPont products will have to get used to some new brands as company officials prepare for more change.
Corteva Agriscience formed when Dow and DuPont merged last year. Currently Corteva is the ag division of the newly merged company, but DowDuPont plans to launch Corteva as a separate, publicly-traded company next year.
Most of the company’s crop protection products will be sold under the Corteva brand, says Mike Dillon, global portfolio leader for soybeans in Corteva. The Pioneer brand and sales reps are here to stay, he adds.
“But we recognize that not every customer wants to go to a direct contact with the Pioneer model. And in our effort to service all aspects of customers’ needs and desires, we’re also working through the very important retail channel,” says Dillon, adding that seed will be branded Brevant.
Over the next couple of years, Dow Seeds, Nexera, and the Pioneer D-series canola will all be folded into the Brevant brand, says Brad Orr, Corteva marketing lead. A Corteva release adds that farmers will still be able to sign Nexera contracts, but the seed will be branded Brevant.
“We want to make sure farmers can buy and access products and technologies from Corteva the way they want to,” says Orr. “So that’s why it’s critical that we have a very strong Pioneer brand and we have a very strong Brevant brand, which is a national brand. It’s going to be launched in nine countries globally and Canada is one of those.”
Corteva banking on soybeans
Soybeans are important to Corteva going forward, says Dillon. Corteva’s primary soybean markets are North and South America, but the company also has business in Europe and South Africa. Corteva’s people are continually watching other markets, he adds.
“One of the things we’re really excited about is the expansion of acres in Western Canada,” says Dillon. There are few places globally where soybeans acres are growing, he adds.
Western Canada’s soybean acreage does fluctuate year to year, Dillon acknowledges, but he says that’s okay. “The long-term trajectory is really positive.”
Orr says they’re focused on yield advances and traits farmers need. Corteva has licenced the Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans. The company is also seeking regulatory approval for Enlist soybeans, which tolerate 2,4-D, glyphosate and glufosinate.
“We have investments in local breeders here so that we have our germplasm developed here,” Orr adds.
The maturity requirements in Western Canada are different from other markets. For example, in some parts of South America, they use tropical germplasm, says Dillon. Developing varieties with 00, 000, or even 0000 maturity ratings is “pretty exciting,” he says.
Some areas, such as northwestern Saskatchewan, have a very short growing season. Will Corteva be able to push soybeans that far north?
“There’s lots of innovation from a maturity standpoint where we’re going to get to triple zero maturities which would maybe enable farmers in that area to grow it,” says Orr. For farmers, the decision will come down to the return on those soybeans versus the other crops they can grow, he adds.
As farmers further north and west sow soybeans, protein is a bigger concern. Orr says they need to look at where the beans were grown, how they were grown, and the environment.
“You can breed for protein. At the end of the day if the environment changes, it might not express itself,” says Orr.