Upstream Ag Insights - May 14th 2023
Essential news and analysis for agribusiness leaders
Welcome to the 168th Edition of Upstream Ag Insights!
Index for the week:
Corteva 2023 R&D Innovation Update Highlights and Analysis
What Can Ag Retailers Charge For Latest Spraying Technology? + Luddites and The Red Queen Effect
CF Industries Working with CHS Inc. on the Production and Distribution of Low-Carbon Nitrogen Fertilizer
Farmwave Harvest Vision
ChrysaLabs Secures CA $15 Million ($11 Million) Series A Funding
Syngenta and Unium Bioscience to Bring Novel Biological Seed Treatment to Europe
The Curiosity Flywheel
CNBC Disruptors: Three AgTech Companies Make the List
Webinar: Marketing For AgTech Startups
Google "We Have No Moat, And Neither Does OpenAI"
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1. Corteva 2023 R&D Innovation Update Highlights and Analysis - Upstream Ag Insights
In September 2022, Corteva held an investor day, sharing its strategic direction and focus.
They identified the following:
What is our winning aspiration?
Where will we play?
How will we win where we have chosen to play?
What capabilities must be in place to win?
What management systems are required to ensure the capabilities are in place?
Chuck Magro called out the winning aspiration for Corteva as:
To be the leader of innovative sustainable solutions for farmers worldwide, today and tomorrow … to become the world’s most valuable Agriculture Solutions company
Then called out where Corteva will play, in geography, product focus, crop focus, and manufacturing emphasis:
~110 countries, ~20 must-win countries
Focused investment in select crops Seed: corn, soy, canola, sunflower, cotton, sorghum and for Crop Protection: fruit & vegetables, corn, soy, cereals, rice
Focus on differentiated, sustainable solutions
Grow seed licensing business and distribution channel
Redirect and increase R&D investment
While operating is key, the underpinning of their success overwhelmingly falls on their ability to turn R&D dollars into differentiated commercial products.
The aim of their event this week was to emphasize the technology in their pipeline and the future sales potential from that technology, specifically, examples of fundamental enablers of their 2025 targets, along with the $24 billion pipeline that takes Corteva out to 2035.
This week I dove into the event transcript and presentation and shared some of the highlights along with an analysis of the following areas:
Research and Development Overview
Seed, Genetics, and New Frontiers
Related: Dow Launches Innovative Online Tool to Accelerate Agricultural Formulation Development - iGrow News
Through its Industrial Solutions business, Dow (NYSE: DOW) has launched an online tool, DOW™ Crop Solver, designed to expedite agricultural formulation development. The tool, optimized for desktop and mobile use, aims to aid formulators in swiftly selecting and evaluating inert ingredients and their properties.
2. What Can Ag Retailers Charge For Latest Spraying Technology? - The Daily Scoop
I have been adamant about the need for retail to dig into see and spray technology for years.
Farm Journal dove into some retailers’ early experiences with the see and spray technology and how they are working with it and monetizing it.
I highly recommend listening to the podcast in the link with Jeff Crissinger, VP of Agronomy Sales/Marketing at NuWay-K&H Cooperative. He shares great insights into the nuances of managing the technology and the process of working within the realities of crop protection and retail constraints.
I ran a two-tank system with one tank having Degree, Atrazine and Mustang Maxx and the second tank having glyphosate plus an adjuvant. Using See and Spray Ultimate, it applied to approximately 30% of the field. The penciled costs– the products used plus the technology fee–was 50 cents more per acre than a uniform application
I understand the need to be cost-competitive with broadcast applications. I do think there will be a need for positioning by the retailer with this technology as well— as in, in many instances, this won’t be cheaper, but it will be competitive and deliver better outcomes such as resistance management, less crop stress, flexibility from a tank mixing perspective and more flexible application timing.
I have talked with a couple of groups looking at the technology and integrating unique business models— though some, such as a flat fee for a weed-free field, require incremental work to identify the holistic benefits derived and back that with research and yield data.
It also presents unique opportunities for software companies to streamline the implementation of See and Spray as a service at the retail level: