facebook_pixel

2007: An “Unprecedented” Year

There are many adjectives to describe the happenings on June 19 of this year that knocked the seed world, and maybe even the entire cotton industry, on its behind. They would range from “this is the greatest thing to ever happen in the seed industry” to expletives that would have to be deleted.

“Unprecedented” might be one everyone could agree upon.

And a comparison to the Butterfly Effect would be reasonably accurate. Monsanto, the world’s No. 1 transgenic traits company, flapped its wings, causing a coast-to-coast tidal wave of cotton-seed industry change.

As a look back, Monsanto’s courtship of Delta and Pine Land (D&PL) had been going on since 1998, with Monsanto making an offer of $1.9 billion in 2000. At the time, Monsanto owned Stoneville Pedigreed Seed Co. – then the nation’s No. 2 brand of cotton seed – and later came to doubt that, in purchasing D&PL, the deal would pass anti-trust scrutiny, given that Monsanto would own the world’s two largest seed companies. Consequently, the offer was pulled. D&PL then sued Monsanto, alleging that a good-faith effort had not been made to secure that approval. Ironically, D&PL seed varieties were the carriers of more Monsanto transgenic traits than any other brand.

However, Monsanto and D&PL continued to flirt, and in August of 2006, Monsanto agreed to buy D&PL in a $1.5 billion cash deal and would, upon closing, immediately divest itself of Stoneville. (At that time, Stoneville owned the NexGen varieties.) The decision to sell Stoneville – which had dropped to No. 3 in market share behind Bayer CropScience’s FiberMax brand – would prevent Monsanto from having a hammerlock on cotton-seed market share.

We Hate It

DuPont spokesman Doyle Carr said of the June 19 DOJ decision that the mergers and acquisitions would limit DuPont’s ability to access and compete in certain markets.
Others chimed in, including the National Black Farmers Association (NBFA) and the State of Arkansas’ chief deputy attorney general.
“This is not going to help the American farmer,” said NBFA president Justin Boyd. “(The Department of Justice) is going to let Monsanto shove this deal down our throats.”
Added Justin Allen of the Arkansas Attorney General’s office, “Our concern is that this will allow Monsanto to corner the market on certain biotechnology traits.”
Obviously the Justins were vexed.

This spring, the drums began to beat loudly. The Department of Justice, it was believed, would soon give its approval, and the only speculation was as to who would wind up with Stoneville. Conventional wisdom was that it would be Bayer, and it was correct.

So it was that on May 31, the DOJ gave its preliminary affirmative shake of the head to the deal and it was closed on June 19, but with considerable fanfare. Monsanto did, in fact, buy D&PL and sell Stoneville to Bayer, but not with the NexGen lines. Americot, in a surprise to all who were not extremely close to the deal, bought NexGen.

With Monsanto now owning D&PL, D&PL’s lawsuit against Monsanto became moot and was dropped.

In another surprise, D&PL agreed to part with 43 varieties that would carry Syngenta’s VipCot insecticide trait. It is unclear, at the moment, whether Syngenta will market those lines under its brand, or license them to another company. Shortly after the DOJ approval came down, Syngenta spokesperson Anne Burt told Cotton Grower Syngenta was committed to the development of VipCot-trait products and “that commitment has not been left wavering after all these actions.”

But back to what we do know:
• Delta and Pine Land will operate as Monsanto’s southern business unit that will include Deltapine cotton and soybean varieties, DeKalb corn seed, Asgrow soybean seed and Roundup-brand agricultural herbicides.
• Bayer now owns Stoneville, but without what were Stoneville’s NexGen lines. Bayer paid $310 million for Stoneville.
• Americot now owns the NexGen lines, paying $6.8 million for them.
So if you are wondering who now markets your favorite brand of cotton seed, here goes:
• Delta and Pine Land will not change.
• Nor will FiberMax.
• Stoneville, less NexGen, will be marketed by Bayer.
• Americot also does not change.
• NexGen is now marketed by Americot.

Fairly simple, huh? And to make it even simpler at the moment, there will be no change in the Stoneville or NexGen brand names.

What If?

At the time the deals were closed, Delta and Pine Land continued to lead in market share with a commanding 42.9% of the market, according to the USDA’s “Varieties Planted, 2007 Crop” report, followed by Bayer’s FiberMax (29.3%), Stoneville (15.4%), PhytoGen (3.3%) and Americot (2.2%).
But what if the deal had been closed prior to this planting season? It would shakeout like this: Bayer with FiberMax, plus Stoneville less NexGen, would have moved to No. 1, with 43.3% of the market, using Bayer’s figure of a 14% share for Stoneville without NexGen. Delta and Pine Land would have been only 0.4 percentage points behind; statistically a dead heat. Meanwhile, Americot moves up to a 6% share, based on Americot’s figures of Americot plus NexGen. Obviously PhytoGen would have remained unchanged at 3.3%.

Captions:
The 2007 season was an historic year for the cotton seed industry.

Growers like Roundup Ready Flex’s extended window of application.

With Bollgard registration expiring in 2010, more and more varieties will become available with the Bollgard II trait.

Add graph:
USDA Market Share
(as a percentage)

Adjusted Market Share
(as a percentage)

Editor’s note: Adjusted percentage for FiberMax plus Stoneville minus NexGen was provided by Bayer CropScience. Adjusted percentage for Americot plus NexGen was provided by Americot.

Leave a Reply

Seed Varieties Stories
Seed Varieties

Cotton Varieties Eyed in AgriLife High Plains Trials

April 20, 2017

With more producers interested in cotton due to good markets and prices, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension variety trials are sure to get more attention in the coming weeks and years.

Seed Varieties

Tennessee 2016 Variety Trial Results Now Online

December 28, 2016

The 2016 Tennessee Cotton Variety Trial Results publication is now available online.

Seed Varieties

Mississippi 2016 Variety Trial Results Now Available Online

December 8, 2016

Data for the 2016 Mississippi Cotton Official Variety Trial program and for the On-Farm Cotton Variety Trials is now available online.

Seed Varieties

NC State 2016 On-Farm Fiber Quality Results Now Online

December 2, 2016

Fiber quality results for the 2016 North Carolina On-Farm Cotton Variety Evaluation Program are now available online.

Seed Varieties

Preliminary 2016 Variety Trial Data Available in TN, NC

December 2, 2016

Preliminary variety performance data from 2016 trials in both Tennessee and North Carolina can now be found online.

Seed Varieties

PhytoGen Poised for Breakout Success

December 1, 2016

Varieties like PHY 333 WRF have laid the template for success at PhytoGen. Now, the Enlist trait is poised to bolster that winning formula.

Seed Varieties

Deltapine Varieties Gain Ground in 2016

November 29, 2016

In 2016, farmers across the Cotton Belt flocked to Deltapine varieties featuring the company’s new trait technology.

Around The Gin
Product News

Indigo Partners Launched for In-Field Technology Testing

April 25, 2017

Indigo is launching Indigo Partners, a collaboration of 25 U.S. growers and agronomic experts to test agricultural technologies – including Indigo’s microbial seed treatments – during 2017.

Product News

UPI Adds New Herbicide Products

April 14, 2017

UPI has added two new herbicides to its portfolio of high quality crop protection products for the U.S.

Product News

FiberMax One Ton Club Membership Tops 1,000

April 14, 2017

A record number of growers qualified for the FiberMax One Ton Club in 2016 with four-bale and higher yields with FiberMax varieties.

Product News

Deltapine NPE Program Kicks off Tenth Year

April 10, 2017

Nearly 200 growers will participate in the tenth season of the Deltapine New Product Evaluator (NPE) Program.

Product News

BASF Expands Dicamba Manufacturing Facility

March 22, 2017

BASF has completed a $270 million expansion of its Beaumont, TX, facility – the largest agricultural products facility investment in company history.

Product News

Topguard Terra Label Amendments for Cotton Root Rot in Texas

March 7, 2017

Texas growers now have additional preplant and post planting options for using Topguard Terra to control cotton root rot.

Product News

Advanced Traits from PhytoGen Protect Yield and Quality

March 6, 2017

PhytoGen varieties offer more and better in-plant, native trait protection to help cotton thrive, protect quality and optimize yields.

Product News

Six Greenleaf Nozzles Approved for Use with XtendiMax

February 24, 2017

Six TurboDrop D Series nozzles from Greenleaf Technologies have been approved for use with Monsanto’s XtendiMax herbicide with VaporGrip Technology.

Latest News
Seed Varieties

Cotton Varieties Eyed in AgriLife High Plains Trials

April 20, 2017

With more producers interested in cotton due to good markets and prices, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension variety trials are sure to get more attention in the coming weeks and years.

Seed Varieties

High Plains, Rolling Plains Variety Trial Results Available

February 17, 2017

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension agronomists in the High Plains and Rolling Plains have released the results of their large plot, on-farm, replicated cotton variety trials from 2016.

Seed Varieties

Variety Trial Results Reflect 2016 Extremes in East and South TX

January 19, 2017

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension 2016 Replicated Agronomic Cotton Evaluation trial results from South and East Texas reflect the extremes of the past season.

Seed Varieties

Tennessee 2016 Variety Trial Results Now Online

December 28, 2016

The 2016 Tennessee Cotton Variety Trial Results publication is now available online.

Seed Varieties

Mississippi 2016 Variety Trial Results Now Available Online

December 8, 2016

Data for the 2016 Mississippi Cotton Official Variety Trial program and for the On-Farm Cotton Variety Trials is now available online.

Seed Varieties

NC State 2016 On-Farm Fiber Quality Results Now Online

December 2, 2016

Fiber quality results for the 2016 North Carolina On-Farm Cotton Variety Evaluation Program are now available online.

Seed Varieties

Preliminary 2016 Variety Trial Data Available in TN, NC

December 2, 2016

Preliminary variety performance data from 2016 trials in both Tennessee and North Carolina can now be found online.

Seed Varieties

PhytoGen Poised for Breakout Success

December 1, 2016

Varieties like PHY 333 WRF have laid the template for success at PhytoGen. Now, the Enlist trait is poised to bolster that winning formula.

Seed Varieties

Deltapine Varieties Gain Ground in 2016

November 29, 2016

In 2016, farmers across the Cotton Belt flocked to Deltapine varieties featuring the company’s new trait technology.

Seed Varieties

CROPLAN Making Its Mark in Cotton

November 26, 2016

With proven varieties and technologies, plus an expanding product pipeline, CROPLAN continues to grow its footprint across the Cotton Belt.

Seed Varieties

Bayer’s Seed Brands Consistent, But Not Complacent

November 23, 2016

Bayer’s Stoneville and FiberMax brands continue their high level of success across the Cotton Belt. But new varieties and resources keep them well positioned for more growth.

Seed Varieties

Americot’s Plan: Keep Coming On Strong

November 21, 2016

Americot/NexGen stunned the market with the top planted cotton variety for 2016. And, based on their plan, they’re just getting started.

Seed Varieties

All-Tex, Dyna-Gro Gearing Up for 2017

November 17, 2016

An aggressive lineup of varieties and trait options for 2017 is helping position the All-Tex and Dyna-Gro brands for market expansion.

Seed Varieties

Deltapine Holds Top Spot in 2016 Planted Varieties

September 15, 2016

Deltapine retained the top spot as the top cottonseed brand planted in the U.S. this year. But a strong performance – and the top planted variety – vaulted Americot up the USDA rankings.

Seed Varieties

Variety Maturity Guide Available from MS State

March 8, 2016

A new guide to variety maturity that shows where popular cotton varieties fall on a maturity timeline is now available online from Mississippi State University.