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FYI in Food & Agribusiness

Warren Carter | 28.01.2014

The Agricultural Retailers Association named Morral Companies as their Retailer of the Year for 2013.  Morral Companies celebrated their 50th anniversary as a family-owned business based in Morral, Ohio.  They were cited for being a leader and innovator throughout many facets of agriculture to include fluid fertilizer, crop production and environmental stewardship.  Morral was one of the first and now one of the US’s largest formulators and manufacturers of liquid fertilizer.

The Agricultural Retailers Association named Morral Companies as their Retailer of the Year for 2013.  Morral Companies celebrated their 50th anniversary as a family-owned business based in Morral, Ohio.  They were cited for being a leader and innovator throughout many facets of agriculture to include fluid fertilizer, crop production and environmental stewardship.  Morral was one of the first and now one of the US’s largest formulators and manufacturers of liquid fertilizer.

Dodge’s Ram Truck brand has partnered with National Geographic to produce a new photography book titled, “The Farmer in All of Us:  An American Portrait”.  The book can be previewed and purchased at www.ramtrucks.com/outfitter and is expected to be in retail stores this Spring 2014.  Each book purchase will go to support a minimum contribution of $25,000 by the Ram Truck brand to the National FFA Organization’s “Give the Gift of Blue” program.

Bayer CropScience has opened the Clayton Bee Care Center, which is a 1,200 square foot facility located on 278 acres in Johnston County, NC.  The new center will house researchers and developers studying all aspects of honey bee health to include factors affecting proper crop pollination and treating and preventing diseases for commercial bee hives.

Monsanto has broke ground on a $400 million research facility in St. Louis, MO.  The new facility is expected to create 675 new R&D jobs and is expected to be completed in 2017.

The Mosaic Company has acquired the phosphate business of CF Industries Holdings for $1.4 billion subject to adjustment.  CF has entered into an agreement to supply Mosaic with between 600,000 and 800,000 tons of ammonia per year beginning no later than 2017.

Mahindra USA has provided one of their 7060 Tier IV compliant tractors to Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology (OSUIT) for use in their Heavy Equipment and Vehicle Institute.  The Mahindra 7060 will be utilized in the curriculum for the Southwestern Association’s Industrial & Farm Equipment Associate in Applied Science degree program.

Titan Machinery Inc. has acquired the business of AgroExpert which includes two Case IH agricultural equipment dealerships in Bucharest and Timisoara, Romania.  Titan Machinery currently owns 91 dealerships in North America.

John Deere has opened their MyJohnDeere platform to collaborating software developers and companies which will provide software and applications to interface with MyJohnDeere, JDLink and Wireless Data Transfer.

Australian biological control company, AgBiTech is expected to enter the North American market in 2014 with a lead product that offers biological control for the key insect pest, Helicoverpa.

Isagro and Arysta LifeScience have entered into a 15 year licensing, development, distribution and supply agreement that will provide Arysta LifeScience with exclusive global rights to develop mixtures of tetraconazole and fluoxastrobin for agricultural markets.  Arysta LifeScience will also gain exclusive access to tetraconazole in the US and Canada for the development of mixtures for foliar applications in certain small grains, pulses and canola, as well as the extension of its exclusive rights to tetraconazole in Japan.  Isagro grants regulatory and registration access along with support for the development of the relevant mixtures.  Arysta LifeScience will purchase tetraconazole exclusively from Isagro.

FMC has executed a 16 year lease on a new 253,000 square foot global headquarters in Philadelphia, PA.  The lease was with Brandywine Realty Trust and the building will be known as FMC Tower at Cira Centre South.  FMC expects to occupy their new corporate headquarters by June 2016 and the groundbreaking is being planned for mid-2014.

RDO Equipment has acquired Water Tech Ag Supply which is a California-based company that provides total agricultural irrigation solutions to include aluminum pipe, PVC pipe, booster pumps, and sand media filtration system rentals, to irrigation design services and pipe and pump repair.

Deere & Co has sold a majority interest in their landscapes business to the private equity investment firm of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.  Deere will receive an estimated $300 million in cash and is expected to retain a 40% equity interest in the business.  Deere formed the landscapes business in 2001 when they purchased and merged two companies that sold wholesale landscape supplies and irrigation products.    After adding two more acquisitions, John Deere Landscapes is one of the largest US wholesale suppliers of turf and ornamental agronomics, irrigation, outdoor lighting, nursery, and landscape materials.  John Deere Landscapes has just over 2,000 employees at 400 locations in 41 states.

Informa Business Information has acquired Phillips McDougall which provides a diverse range of multi-client reports and studies for the crop protection and seed industry.

Zoetis has purchased the assets of Advanced Food Technologies (AFT), a provider of food safety and animal care products to meat and poultry processing customers.  AFT is a privately-owned, specialty chemical company for food processors.  They provide post-harvest, food safety solutions and services in meat and poultry processing, along with offering hoof care products for the dairy industry.  This new acquisition will add new technology to the Zoetis portfolio of vaccines, medicines, diagnostics and genetics.

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Sam McCorkle is an executive search consultant specializing in the food and agribusiness industry in  North America.  Sam’s career experience with Ralston Purina / Land O’Lakes before entering the search profession gave him exposure to everything from “the dirt to the dinner plate”.  Sam leverages resources within The QualiFind Group to serve client’s needs for talent.  Sam can be reached in St. Louis, Missouri at (314) 283-8596.

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