Already well established, Nufarm UK has plans to expand its crop protection portfolio
Already well established as a manufacturer and supplier of herbicides, Dominic Kilburn hears how Nufarm UK has plans to expand its crop protection portfolio.
Viewed today as a high volume generic manufacturer and supplier of agrochemicals, Nufarm UK has ambitious plans to grow its business by delivering added value, high-tech products and solutions to farmers.
That was the company’s key message at a briefing held in March where market segments including cereal herbicides and fungicides, grassland herbicides and seed treatment technology were highlighted as some of the key areas of focus for the business over the next four years.
“Nufarm is the 7th largest crop protection business in the UK with eight per cent of the UK herbicide market,” said the company’s business manager, Northern Europe, John Austin (pictured), who pointed out that it was the world’s largest producer of the phenoxy’ group of herbicides which play a useful part in anti-resistant strategies. “While cereals is a key market for new product introductions, we also see maize, grassland, seed treatments and non-crop segments as areas for future development, alongside opportunities in specialty crops such as potatoes and vegetables,” he explained.
“We do have a strong position in herbicides, which includes two new introductions last year and one planned for this spring, and this is a position we want to defend, but, for us, growing the cereal fungicide market will be key,” he added.
In addition, Mr Austin said that although maize was historically a small market in the UK compared with continental Europe, it was a strategically very important crop now for forage and also for AD plants.
“There is on-going development of maize products from Europe,” suggested Mr Austin.
Because of the company’s dominance with phenoxy’ herbicides, this will be key for developing further grassland products, while the company’s UK manufacturing plant in Wyke, near Bradford in West Yorkshire will also become a ‘centre of excellence’ for seed treatment development for the UK and Europe.
Adding ValueWith less new product registration occurring in the global agrochemical market, Nufarm executive general manager for Europe, Hugo Schweers said that the company was really focusing on adding value to off-patent chemistry with its R&D activities and this was driving its business model. A strategic alliance that Nufarm has with Japanese giant Sumitomo would continue to evaluate actives and molecules worldwide.
“We want to improve the results of existing active ingredients for farmers so that when they use a Nufarm product they are getting added value and increased efficiency on their farms,” he concluded.
InnovationNufarm’s 16 key on-going ‘innovation projects’ include UK launches last autumn of cereal herbicide Cyclops (bromoxynil + DFF) and Kyleo (glyphosate + 2,4-D) for total weed control. This spring will see additional new introductions of Maya (bromoxynil) for spring BLW control in cereals and Clinic TF, a novel glyphosate formulation.
In terms of cereal fungicides, the company already offers chlorothalonil straight Joules, and chlorothalonil + tebuconazole mix Crafter, however, working in close collaboration with Interfarm in the UK, the plan is to launch a T3 ear spray shortly, containing tebuconazole + bromuconazole.
Existing phenoxy-based grassland products include Duplosan (mecoprop-P), Agritox and Easel (MCPA).
UK market shareTotal UK crop protection market 2014 – value 600m
Nufarm market shareHerbicides 8%Fungicides 1.5%Insecticides/molluscicides 4%Others 2%