Advanced Micronutrient Products Big On Custom Blends
John Bowen, whose father started Cameron Chemicals in 1986, has his own unique approach to today’s market. The company evolved from a small family-owned operation to doubling its size in April 2015 when Cameron acquired the Reese, MI-based Agrium micronutrient facility, now operated as Advanced Micronutrient Products Inc. The combined companies are one of the largest producers of granular micronutrients in the world. The company saw a flat market domestically from 2015 through the first half of this year, while Cameron’s export market took more of a hit on the strength of the U.S. dollar, he says. That market has turned as of mid-2016.
“When grain prices where high, fancy and new was the in thing to do, but now that grain prices are lower, tried and true, traditional approaches to balanced crop nutrition have returned to the agronomist’s tool kit,” Bowen tells CropLife.
“For 2016 going into 2017, for us, it goes back to our ability to be more than a one-stop shop. There are companies out there that can only make single-element products. We make single element products including magnesium, zinc, manganese, copper, boron, and iron for those that want to prescription blend but we also have the ability to manufacture custom micronutrient product mixes that are customer-specific, crop-specific, or geographically specific,” Bowen says. “That’s one of the biggest things that separates us from the pack.” The company manufactures 70-plus different micronutrient packages geared toward corn, soy, cotton, peanut and other markets.
Globally, companies come to Cameron with their own nutritional requirements, and Cameron tailors a product to fit those needs, including the addition of the customers own proprietary additives. “Instead of taking zinc manganese and mixing it at dealer level, they have a ready-to-use product that meets the needs of the crops and soils in their region. Anybody can run up and down the road and sell a pallet of zinc. There is nothing to differentiate it.”
Cameron’s custom-made product mixes occupy less bin space, require less handling, and offer the benefit of being a homogenous product that is already put together for the end user, Bowen says.