This week Corteva, one of the largest U.S. based agri-businesses, became a stand alone company and started trading on the NY stock exchange. Company officials are confident they are prepared to meet the challenges of the future. As of June 1, Corteva became a publicly traded company that only deals in agriculture. Susanne Wasson, President of Crop Protection for Corteva, said farmers should not notice any difference, “What they will notice is that we will continue to bring new technology to them, whether it is new germ plasm, new traits, or new crop protection products.”
Wasson said competing with some of the world’s top technology providers will be tough but is confident Corteva has the technology that will allow farmers to increase production. She steered, “We are confident we have the right technology to improve productivity for farmers; and, if we can get our products registered on time, then I think our shareholders will be happy.” She added that regulatory delays both here in the U.S. and around the world are a serious issue for major tech companies like Corteva.
Wasson admitted that being a publicly traded corporation will have its challenges, especially when it comes to dealing with regulators and activists, “We are concerned that activists can effect what happens in the regulatory process. We are pleased that the current administration has been focusing on FIFRA and actually following the regulatory process.” She noted that litigation will continue to be used but that adherence to science is the key to getting the new technology to the market.
Wasson told HAT Corteva is conducting research into more naturally derived crop protection products that do not have as many regulatory restrictions, “but in some cases these products do not have the same level of control and, thus, must be used differently than synthetic products.” However, she feels this area has a good deal of potential and may be one of the emerging trends in the future.
The new firm will have around 67% of net revenues in seed, with 33% in crop protection, according to Jim Collins, Corteva Agriscience chief executive officer. Industry sources say the new firm will provide a more integrated approach between the seed and chemistry components of the former agricultural divisions of Dow and DuPont. Pioneer is still the firm’s flagship brand, signifying premium service and products, say Corteva officials. The firm, though, has revamped its regional brands, going from 10 to five: Dairyland Seed, Hoegemeyer, NuTech, Seed Consultants, and Terral. Corteva is ramping up the seed portion of the Enlist Weed Control system.To date, Corteva has formed around 100 licensing agreements with seed companies for its Enlist E3 soybeans.