Dow selects new name for seed brands

TORONTO — Dow AgroSciences has a new name for its seed brands.

Dow Seeds replaces the company’s branding of Mycogen and Hyland in Canada, but Nexera, the canola that produces low saturated, trans fat-free, high-stability oil, will remain a separate business.

Rolando Meninato, who leads the international seed division, said the change of names wasn’t an “easy decision.”

“There is a lot of credibility with farmers in the names of these brands,” he said.

“We don’t want to lose that.”

Jeff Loessin, who heads the division in Canada, said the strategy is to better position the company to compete with Monsanto’s DeKalb and DuPont Pioneer for global market share.

Brad Orr, president of parent company Dow AgroSciences Canada, said Nexera is being kept out of the Canadian Dow Seeds group because of its unique attributes, including the identity preserved value-chain the company has for that product.

The company is also changing the name for its seeds division, which has been expanding its research facility at St. Mary, Ont., and Carman, Man.

The company’s new seed division will handle soybeans and corn in Western Canada and all of its seed products in Eastern Canada.

Dow Seeds develops and markets corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa and dry beans.

Meninato said the change isn’t just a rebranding.

“If you’re not changing your business, there is no reason to go through this. We are investing in research and growing, and the name change is part of that.”

The company has expanded its work in corn and soybean germplasm by upgrading its global plant breeding facility in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The company’s U.S. operation is the last to change its name, after Canada.

“We saved the biggest for last,” he said. “We are analyzing the market. There are many good brands there, Pfister, Dairyland, Prairie, and we have to maintain those relationships with the growers.”

The company has wheat varieties outside of Western Canada, but Meninato said wheat is a complicated crop when it comes to adding value to some markets.

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