Dow AgroSciences Targets New Markets

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Tim Hassinger, President & CEO Dow AgroSciences

With crop protection markets flat in many parts of the world, Dow AgroSciences is readying new technology that will target several new markets, including cereals in Europe and rice in Asia.

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“We’re an organization that has a significant amount of new technology that’s coming forward,” said Tim Hassinger, president and CEO of Dow AgroSciences, in an interview with Farm Chemicals International at the company headquarters in Indianapolis. “We are very focused on which technologies we’re selecting, what geographies we’re targeting and what crops we’re focusing on. For example, we’ve got several new technologies in cereals and a new herbicide that is going to enhance that franchise.”

Dow also plans to fill in gaps in the company’s portfolio to offer a more complete solution for growers. In this case that means adding a fungicide.

“Europe is a targeted growth opportunity for us. We have technologies that are coming from both the crop protection and seeds platforms, especially in the Americas.”

In 2014, Dow AgroSciences earned $7.29 billion in revenue from its agricultural sciences portfolio of which 78% was crop protection and 22% was seeds. North America and Latin America were the two largest markets accounting for 40% and 31% respectively. Asia/Pacific and Europe, Middle East, Africa and India (EMEAI) accounted for 10% and 19% of revenue respectively.

With the decline of commodity crop prices disproportionately affecting the Americas, the company has been focusing on growth markets, notably India and China.
“Rice is a key crop for us and we are market leaders in rice herbicides,” he says. “We’ve launched new technology in the last few years and are about to launch another product that will come out of our discovery pipeline in the next couple of years.”

Dow will be launching its new technology in three waves. The first wave, which has already begun, includes Isoclast active insecticide and Enlist Duo (glyphosate and 2,4-D) herbicide. Isoclast (sulfoxaflor) active was initially launched in 2014 with registration in 22 countries, and the company hopes to add 11 more this year. The product marks a new market segment for Dow with a product designed to treat sap-feeding insects.
“We’ve received the approvals for Canada and the U.S. (for Enlist Duo),” while the launch is pending, Hassinger says. Dow completed the first step in the approval process for Brazil and is expecting to get the needed approvals in Argentina later this year. The cultivation approvals are moving according to plan. The next step is to get the import approvals from China.

“We’re in the middle of that process right now,” Hassinger said. “It’s difficult to predict exactly when that will occur.”

The second wave focuses attention on Europe.
Dow has also received registration in three countries, including China, for a new cereal herbicide called Arylex (halauxifen-methyl) active herbicide, a product that complements the company’s existing cereal herbicide portfolio, Hassinger says. Arylex active is a broadleaf weed herbicide for wheat, barley, and it can also be used for burn down. Anticipated launch is between 2015 and 2018. Following that will be a new cereal fungicide, which has not yet been named. The company says it will offer a new mode of action from a novel area of chemistry. That product’s anticipated launch is between 2018 and 2019.

The third wave turns focus to Asia.
Dow’s new rice herbicide Rinskor (a novel 6-arylpicolinate molecule) active is a post-emergent herbicide that controls grasses, broadleaves and sedges in multiple crops. It will be an excellent fit in China and India, Hassinger says. Rinskor is expected to launch between 2018 and 2021.

“Those are the technologies that we’re highlighting for the next five years,” Hassinger says. “It’s the strongest, most robust pipeline we’ve ever had. Our R&D leader has a great phrase when he talks internally: ‘We have something  for everybody.’ “Our technologies fit across the globe. Every geography will be participating in one or more of these technologies.”

Dow AgroSciences isn’t just focused on the technology. The company has also restructured its resources to better serve its markets. The company recently announced the restructuring of the EMEA geographies.

“A common regulatory process across Europe allows us to put an organization together that aligns with the way regulatory decisions are made,” Hassinger says. “We’ve got a lot of new technology that is getting launched in Europe, so we wanted to centralize some of the expertise.”

The company also announced expansion of its Puerto Rico R&D site.

“This is a seeds and biotech site for us, an R&D site that also does parent seed production,” Hassinger says. “We’ve been in Puerto Rico since 1992. We see Puerto Rico as a facility that really complements our Hawaii production site. As we’ve gone through this growth period, we’ve been able to accumulate and develop the best discovery pipeline we’ve ever had in our history. That’s a statement for crop protection and seeds and biotech.”