BASF sells Clearfield to Corteva Agriscience

The reshuffling of herbicide tolerant canola systems is finally complete — at least for the time being.

Corteva Agriscience, the agriculture division of DowDuPont, has acquired the Clearfield canola production system in Canada and the United States from BASF.

The Competition Bureau of Canada ordered BASF last June to sell its Clearfield system after it acquired Bayer’s LibertyLink trait.

Bayer was forced to sell one of its herbicide tolerant systems after acquiring Monsanto. It chose to keep the Roundup system and sell the LibertyLink system to BASF.

The bureau determined that competition in the canola business would have been “substantially lessened” with BASF owning both the LibertyLink and Clearfield systems.

The bureau said 55 percent of canola seeds sold in Canada contain the LibertyLink trait, 40 percent have the Roundup Ready trait and five percent possess the Clearfield trait.

“This loss in rivalry would likely have been felt by growers in the form of higher canola seed prices, higher canola herbicide prices and increased payments related to the use of Clearfield intellectual property,” stated the bureau in its decision.

BASF also sold its imidazolinone herbicides to Corteva. They are primarily sold in Canada under the Ares brand.

Corteva was already licensing the Clearfield trait in both its Pioneer and Brevant (previously Nexera) seeds brands.

“This bolt-on acquisition strengthens Corteva Agriscience’s already established position in Clearfield canola seeds and traits and positions us well to deliver a holistic trait and herbicide solution to growers,” Rajan Gajaria, Corteva’s executive vice-president of business platforms, said in a news release.

The company plans to license the Clearfield trait to other seed companies in Canada and the U.S.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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