Taking The Helm

Post-patent crop protection manufacturers went for a roller coaster ride in 2008. Increases in crop protection product demand worldwide, coupled with China’s shift in manufacturing focus away from crop protection created a major supply gap. Companies were left flat-footed and unable to react to the demand with unprecedented increases in material and energy costs, resulting in big price increases.

This is the landscape that faced Mar­tin Petersen as he prepared to take over the ANZAC (Australia, New Zealand, the Americas, and Canada) business for Cheminova, a post-patent company with more than 70 years in the crop protection market and ranked 11th among manufacturers worldwide. The ANZAC region represents about 25% of the company’s total sales.

Petersen brought with him deep experience working for basic manufacturers Bayer and American Cy­anamid, and most recently, post-patent marketer Gowan. Petersen’s goal is to maintain Cheminova’s track record of collaboration with the channel and post-patent innovation.

“We would like to be seen as the innovative company among generic ag chem players,” says Petersen. “We are proud of having established partners within the distribution channel, and we are clear on the role of distribution — we are not trying to find a direct way to reach the farmer-consumer. We’re better off working with distribution partners, who add their strengths to the relationship and allow us to focus on providing quality product.”

A recent major global restructuring of the company, which employs 1,600 people globally (36 in the U.S.), puts it in a position to reach its goal of “jumping up a notch” on the ranking of global ag chem companies, says Petersen. The company also recently announced the relocation of its U.S. headquarters to the “heartland” of crop protection these days, North Carolina.

Managing Change

The global post-patent market got a real shaking in 2008. The Chinese government moved to reallocate resources and impose sweeping changes to its manufacturing sector in an effort to reprioritize its manufacturing base. The moves served to reduce the manufacture and available supply of crop protection products globally. On top of it all, demand is on the increase.

Petersen says that “China is waking up to its limited resources, and is really interested in playing a more important part in the global economy than being simply the chief workbench for product manufacturing. China is finding ways to make better use of resources, while adding Draconian export surcharges on some products.”

Petersen is relishing his deeper involvement in the U.S. market, which he says is being driven by some interesting dynamics. “I’ve spent a lot of time working in various markets around the world, and the U.S. continues to be unique due to ag’s sizeable contribution to the economy as a whole,” he says. “Farming is heard on Capitol Hill.”

In general, ag and food is back in the news headlines, which is revitalizing the industry at its roots. “University professors are saying to me that ag school enrollment is up,” he says. “The public is accustomed to the farm community producing more and more, and a redoubling of our effort is in order. Bringing better technology to U.S. agriculture is key. Not long ago producing 100 bushel corn was a privilege, now it is a disaster. Technology is constantly improving ag here in the U.S.”

That said, there is still work to do. The recent food scares require the industry to strengthen its stand with the American public and further work to ensure a healthy food supply, says Petersen. Agronomically, there are continuing challenges to glyphosate from resistant weeds. This is where Cheminova sees the retailer as the key partner in reaching out to growers.

“Cheminova is working to make the best and most appropriate technologies available to the farmer,” says Petersen. “The retailer is the one that understands and has the tools in advance to talk to the farmer, and tell him what he should or should not do. We continue to look for ways to work through the channel, to strengthen our relationship with the channel, and deliver key chemistries that retailers need to allow them to maximize profitability.”

With the growth of ag worldwide, shortages are expected to continue. Research and development-based companies are best at bringing new technologies to ag, leaving the role of off-patent companies to improve the availability and use of older generic products. “Companies like Cheminova continue to play an increasing role in making these products available to the U.S. farmer,” says Petersen.

Leave a Reply

Crop Inputs Stories
Crop InputsPlatform Specialty Products To Acquire Arysta LifeScience
October 20, 2014
Once the acquisition is complete, Platform Specialty Products will combine Arysta LifeScience with previously acquired companies Agriphar and Chemtura Crop Solutions. Read More
MicronutrientsMicronutrients Going Macro
September 9, 2014
Between 2014’s fantastic growing conditions and a heightened awareness on plant nutrition, the major players in micronutrients are gearing up for another big year. Read More
FertilizerFall Fertility 2014: Forecasting Fertilizer Use
September 7, 2014
Great crops this year have tapped the soil, and fall work is definitely called for, but how challenging will that get? Read More
FungicidesSudden Death Syndrome, Brown Stem Rot Reported In Indiana Soybeans
September 3, 2014
Farmers and retailers should be watching for symptoms of these two diseases over the next few weeks as they are best managed through preventative methods. Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Acquires Minnesota Retailer
April 14, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC, ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100,  has successfully acquired Liebl Ag, LLC in Ada, MN.  Read More
CropLife 100CHS, Aurora Cooperative Complete Fertilizer Storage, Grain Shuttle Loading Facility
April 13, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading cooperative and ranked No. 5 on the CropLife 100, and Aurora Cooperative (ranked No. 21) Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Acquires Missouri Refined Fuels Terminal
April 2, 2015
Bloomington, IL-based GROWMARK and Magellan Pipeline Co. have entered into an agreement in which GROWMARK will acquire the refined fuels Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Acquires South Dakota Retailer
April 2, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co.’s Agribusiness Division, a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution and marketing of plant protection, seed Read More
CropLife 100The McGregor Co. Closes Smith-Kem Acquisition
April 2, 2015
The McGregor Co. — ranked No. 16 on the CropLife 100 list of largest U.S. ag retailers — has completed Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Latest News
FertilizerSimplot’s Gal-XeONE Technology Moves West
April 27, 2015
The J.R. Simplot Co. remains committed to creating customer value through technology. In 2013, Simplot purchased the Gal-XeONE controlled release Read More
Eric SfiligojThe Need To Defend Production Agriculture
April 27, 2015
Last week, I spent the better part of my time on the road visiting with ag retailers and market suppliers Read More
FertilizerStarter Fertilizers Show Value In Stressful Spring Cond…
April 27, 2015
From wet, cold conditions in the eastern Corn Belt to excessively dry, cool soils in the Plains states, spring field Read More
StewardshipTFI Announces Renewed Financial Commitment To Fertilize…
April 24, 2015
Today, The Fertilizer Institute’s (TFI) President Chris Jahn announced that TFI and over 100 partners will more than double existing Read More
Industry NewsMACA Names New Ambassador Coordinator
April 23, 2015
The Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) has named Michelle Kilper as its new Ambassador Coordinator. Michelle is a graduate of Read More
ManagementAg Retailer’s Role In Local Policy Making; Raising The …
April 23, 2015
CropLife’s Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj review their recent travels, precision ag efforts in Washington, DC, and the role of Read More
TMX-2050 In-Cab Display Launch Run Screen
Precision AgIn-Cab Computing 2015: Connectivity, Compatibility Take…
April 23, 2015
In terms of in-cab computing solutions for the agriculture market, companies like Case IH, Topcon, Trimble, John Deere and Raven Read More
USDA
StewardshipUSDA Outlines Building Blocks For Climate Smart Agricul…
April 23, 2015
Today, the USDA has announced a comprehensive and detailed approach to support farmers, ranchers, and forest land owners in their Read More
Industry NewsArysta LifeScience Welcomes New Territory Sales Manager
April 23, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced the addition of Kaitlyn Acaster to the Canadian sales team. Acaster will fill the Read More
Crop InputsMarrone Bio Innovations Opens New Research Greenhouse
April 23, 2015
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (MBI), a leading provider of bio-based pest management and plant health products for the agriculture, turf Read More
Crop InputsDuPont Acquires Taxon Biosciences
April 23, 2015
DuPont has agreed to acquire Taxon Biosciences, Inc., a leading microbiome discovery company. This acquisition will build on DuPont’s in-house capabilities Read More
Farmer on tablet
ManagementStudy: Consumers Don’t Care If U.S. Farmers Feed …
April 23, 2015
“We’re feeding the world” is a mantra often used by those involved in farming and food to build support for Read More
Industry NewsCorporate Responsibility Magazine Names Monsanto One Of…
April 22, 2015
Corporate Responsibility Magazine (CR Magazine) named Monsanto Co. to its 100 Best Corporate Citizens List for 2015. This is the Read More
FertilizerSpring Nitrogen Management: Form And Timing
April 22, 2015
Most corn producers have planned their spring nitrogen program for 2015, and many have already started to implement their program. Read More
FMC 3Rive 3D
Industry NewsFMC Corp. Completes Acquisition Of Cheminova
April 22, 2015
FMC Corp. has completed the closing of its acquisition of Cheminova A/S, a multinational crop protection company based in Denmark Read More
SoftwareSyngenta Expands AgriEdge Excelsior Nationwide For 2015
April 22, 2015
Growers across the country can now take the guesswork out of improving their farm’s production, land value, farm stewardship and Read More
Cornfield near Sioux City Iowa
HerbicidesU.S. Regulators May Start Testing Food For Glyphosate R…
April 21, 2015
U.S. regulators may start testing food products for residues of the world’s most widely used herbicide, EPA told Reuters’ Carey Read More
FungicidesBRANDT Adds Zonix Biofungicide To Portfolio
April 21, 2015
BRANDT has added Zonix biofungicide to its rapidly expanding line of organic and sustainable products. Zonix is a contact fungicide that Read More