At a time when there are already several new company names on the new seed variety list, CROPLAN is jumping into the fray — bringing its brand to Western Canada for the first time.
“CROPLAN is new to Western Canada, but certainly not new to North America,” says Michael Kereluik, CROPLAN product manager for Canada. “We’re the fifth-largest seed brand in the U.S., and we’ve been in Eastern Canada for 15 years.”
CROPLAN’s journey to Western Canada is a complicated trail of mergers and partners, summarized in the timeline further down.
CROPLAN’s business model is to scout for seed varieties with the traits they want in the CROPLAN portfolio, then license those varieties from the seed-breeding companies that own them. This year, CROPLAN is offering two new soybean varieties and one new corn variety for Western Canadian growers.
“We’re building out our Western Canadian portfolio,” says Kereluik. For now, as a result of CROPLAN’s history in the U.S., that portfolio is made up of corn and soybeans, but Kereluik has plans to expand further. “We’re looking forward to bringing canola to market.”
Kereluik is excited about the information CROPLAN can provide to growers. “We have a robust trialing initiative,” he says. “With our Answer Plot program, we collect more than six million data points annually from across North America. It’s high quality data that’s locally relevant.” As well, he says, “I think we have one of the best seed guides in the industry.
In Western Canada, CROPLAN seed is available from WinField United’s ag-retail owners: a network of independent retailers across the Prairies. For reasons that will become clear when you read the timeline, you can find more information (and that seed guide) online at winfieldunited.ca.
The CROPLAN timeline
- 2010: Independent ag retailers from across the Western Canadian Prairies form an organization where they can work together, but still maintain their original identities. They call it the GROW Community of Independents.
- 2015: GROW partners with Iowa-based United Suppliers Inc., a group of 600 independent ag retailers. GROW becomes United Suppliers Canada Inc.
- 2015: Meanwhile, in the U.S., United Suppliers Inc. merges with Land O’Lakes Inc.’s crop input business, WinField, becoming WinField United. Land O’Lakes began in 1921 as a farmer-owned co-op focused on dairy. Now Land O’Lakes has about 10,000 employees and, along with dairy and other products, sells pet food (Purina), refrigerated desserts (Kozy Shack) and Winfield United’s seed, nutrition and crop protection products.
- 2017: In Canada, United Suppliers Canada Inc. partners with WinField United, becoming WinField United Canada.
- 2018: WinField United Canada first brings WinField’s CROPLAN seed to commercial growers in Western Canada.
- 2019: CROPLAN introduces two new soybean varieties and a corn hybrid to Western Canada.