News from the global agricultural technology industry.

AgChem Consolidation Race

Horse Race

We are in the midst of a race among the world’s biggest agribusinesses to consolidate, driven by the needs of large players in the crop protection and seeds industry to increase economies of scale and production efficiencies. One way to achieve this is to consolidate and reach for synergies.

The race to consolidate was kicked off by Monsanto’s first takeover offer for Syngenta earlier this year; a takeover bid which ended in failure in August after Syngenta rejected Monsanto’s $44.6 billion offer.

The urgency within the industry to merge or acquire has since then been palpable with discussions ongoing between apparently all of the major players. The first to announce a successfully negotiated tie up are Dow Chemical and Dupont, two of the US’s oldest companies.

It seems likely that the next merger or acquisition will be with Syngenta in some shape or form. We know there are at least two active bids on the table. The first is Monsanto, which is understood to be renewing its offer for Syngenta, and the other is China National Chemical Corp (ChemChina).

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With loss of fumigants growers now face a daunting search for replacements

Timeline of Fumigant Regulations

To give their plants a healthy head start, many strawberry growers rely on soil fumigants to control nematodes, soil-borne fungal diseases and weeds. But these effective tools are on their way out. Environmental and health regulations, including the approaching phaseout of methyl bromide, have severely constrained the type and amount of fumigants that can be used.

Moreover, no new chemical soil treatments are in the pipeline, experts say. As a result growers face the scary prospect of raising strawberries with little fumigant or none at all. Researchers and farmers hope to replace fumigants by scaling up nonchemical soil treatments and developing disease resistant plant varieties and beneficial soil microbes.

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Strawberry Soil Fumigants