Corn isn't the only game in town. Neither are soybeans, even though this is the Midwest. That's why a local Hoosier company, Dow AgroSciences, was excited to announce purchase of a Ralls, Texas-based company probably unknown to most Hoosiers. The Indiana company recently acquired Triumph Seeds of Texas. Triumph is one of the industry leaders worldwide in sunflowers. In fact, it was the first company in the industry to market 'short stature' sunflowers worldwide.
As far as Stan Howell, vice president in North America for Dow AgroSciences, is concerned, the acquisition of another company steeped deep in the biotechnology business will be good for his company. What the move does is give Dow AgroSciences instant credibility in the sunflower market.
But the deal wasn't just about sunflowers, Howell points out. It also will provide Dow AgroSciences with a boost in both corn and sorghum products. Dow AgroSciences, unlike some major companies that only are interested in buying the marketing arm and the name of a company, purchased all commercial, production, research and development assets of Triumph Seeds. However, Dow AgroSciences quickly announced that the Triumph brand of seed, well known in its southern marketing area, will continue. Howell says it will complement the company's current seed business, which falls under the Mycogen brand name in the seed market.
To learn more about this business deal, you can visit the Web site of either company. You can learn more about Dow AgroSciences at: www.dowagro.com. Or check out a company you probably knew little about, unless you do business or have relatives in the southern U.S., at: www.triumphseed.com.
Seed is only a relatively small portion of Dow AgroSciences overall portfolio. The company also has herbicides in corn and soybeans, which also occupy a relatively small percentage of the company's ability to generate revenue. One major breakthrough for Dow AgroSciences within the past two years was the release of Milestone, a pasture herbicide that appears to be head and shoulders above nearly any other product in its category.
Dow AgroSciences is very much involved in the healthy oils movement. However, instead of promoting specially-bred soybeans, Dow AgroSciences pushes canola oil. They contract for acres for growing canola, mostly in Canada.
Canola has yet to make a comeback in the U.S after a miserable, poorly handled attempt at introducing the crop into the Midwest, including Indiana, around 1990. Tough winters, varieties not suited to conditions, shaky markets at the time, and inexperience in handling the seed and making management decisions related to the care of the canola crop, all contributed to its downfall nearly two decades ago. However, now that Dow AgroSciences is pushing healthy oil made form canola, there's always the possibility that this crop could return to parts of the Midwest.