Sorting out new seed brands

Corteva has solidified how its Pioneer and Brevant seed companies will work in the market

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Corteva, the new agriculture brand of DowDupont, is maintaining two seed brands in the Canadian marketplace to fill two sales routes to farmers — through agriculture retailers and direct to farmers.

Pioneer — the iconic seed brand —will continue to be sold to farmers by farmer dealers, Collin Phillip, the eastern area leader for Corteva Agriscience said, and Brevant seeds will only be sold through agriculture retailers.

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Why it matters: Several mergers in the agriculture supply business have created some confusion in the marketplace with new seed and supplier brands vying for farmer attention.

Phillip talked to Farmtario at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show about the challenges of working with the legacy of several seed brands and moving them into a newly focused business.

The Pioneer seed business will operate much as it has in the past, selling through farmer-dealers. The biggest difference will be the arrival of some new farmer-dealers in the countryside who once sold Dow Seeds.

The new Brevant brand will sell only through agricultural retailers, a change from the Dow Seeds mix of farmer-dealers and ag retail. Dow Seeds itself, is a fairly recently created brand, from the merger of the Hyland Seeds and Mycogen brands in Canada in 2015.

Brevant — formed from words that mean quick (brev) and ahead (ant) — aims to be a quick and easy business partner for farmers buying at retail.

“For our retail farmer customers that means having a highly curated line of products,” said Phillip.

“With Pioneer we have a very very large range of products. You kind of need that very specific localized knowledge to weed through that. At Brevant we have more of a tailored, customized product lineup that’s been tested locally, but is more focused in a broadly adapted way for that area.”

Some farmers want a one-stop-shop for all of their crops needs, so it’s important that Corteva has a brand that reaches those customers, said Phillip.

A year ago Phillip said that Dow and DuPont employees couldn’t even talk to each other. There’s been a lot to sort out over a year.

“We’ve had a lot of change in our overall distribution network,” said Phillip.

There will be changes in the product lineup as well over the next year.

The DuPont-Pioneer and Dow research and development efforts have been merged. Each company spent about $1 billion on research and development each year. Combining that research and development pipeline means more resources to put to targeted goals, said Phllip.

“Yes the companies are maybe spending less in aggregate, but they’re spending more on the same target,” he said. “You’re putting more resounces behind what each company was developing separately.“

There will be new genetic options for seed throughout the company, with the combination of Pioneer and Dow genetics.

However, what’s in a Pioneer bag will never be what’s in a Brevant bag, he said.

“There will be similarities. You might have a similar parent behind that hybrid, but no product will be the same in both bags. You can’t do that.”

The new Corteva brand will be fully focused on agriculture once it is spun off from the merged DowDuPont company. That means no conversations with the parent company around Kevlar or paints, said Phillip. The division is expected to separate from DowDupont on June 1, 2019.

About the author


John Greig

John Greig has spent his career in agriculture journalism and communications. He lives on a farm near Ailsa Craig, Ontario. Contact John at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @jgreig

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