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Editor's Note: Dow AgroSciences has been an active participant in the changing landscape of the crop protection chemical product market in the past year. The purchase of Rohm and Haas Ag is just one example. To provide an update on how things are shaping up with the Indianapolis-based company, Stan Howell, vice president, North America Trade Area and Global Insecticide Leader, spoke to Agri Marketing magazine.

AM: How has the transition gone since the purchase of Rohm and Haas' ag chemical business? Is the integration process complete from a marketing standpoint and is the company pleased with the progress thus far?

Dow AgroSciences acquired Rohm and Haas to enhance our global fungicide business as well as our turf and ornamental business. Dow AgroSciences had a relatively small fungicide business before the purchase of Rohm and Haas Ag. Additionally, it strengthened our insecticide and herbicide offerings. In total, the Rohm and Haas acquisition added more than $500 million in annual sales.

We couldn't be more pleased with the integration process. The Dow AgroSciences employees have been dedicated to making the integration work, and the employees who joined us from Rohm and Haas have made the transition work smoothly.

AM: You expanded your corn product portfolio last year with the purchase of such products as Surpass, TopNotch and FulTime herbicides. From a marketing standpoint, how did that move strengthen your ability to reach customers?

The primary reason for this purchase was to enhance our presence in the corn market. The addition of acetochlor rounds out our corn portfolio. We have Mycogen corn seeds, acetochlor grass herbicide, Hornet broadleaf herbicides, Lorsban 15G soil insecticide and N-Serve nitrogen stabilizer. This gives us the ability to serve a majority of the needs of the corn grower.

AM: Where does Dow AgroSciences see its greatest opportunity for sales growth in the near term? Traditional crops? Specialty crops? Turf and ornamentals?

Dow AgroSciences has growth opportunities in all three areas. With the addition of the acetochlor and Glyphomax herbicide lines, we can grow in the traditional corn and soybean markets. By purchasing the Rohm and Haas fungicides, as well as Goal herbicide, we will have a very strong presence in the specialty markets. Additionally, the Rohm and Haas crabgrass and grub control products fit quite nicely with our turf and ornamental line. This broad portfolio will allow us to grow in all three segments.

AM: How is Dow AgroSciences using the Internet in its marketing efforts? Are there plans to make the Internet more than an information source for its customers in the near future?

We're currently using the Internet as an information tool for growers, dealers and other members of the channel. Dow AgroSciences believes that the current business model is the most effective way to serve the market. We believe the industry will develop E-commerce solutions that will help all channel members serve the market more efficiently. E-commerce will become an "enabler" to enhance the existing business model...not a replacement of the model we have.

AM: Are you finding more marketing opportunities to partner with Mycogen Seeds, and is this causing any changes in how Dow AgroSciences distributes products to its customers?

We see the ag chem and seeds businesses as two distinct opportunities with a common denominator. We are exploring opportunities to synergize the marketing and sales efforts of the ag chem and seed businesses. However, we have found that there are very clear differences between the two. We intend to respect those differences, while at the same time, look for efficiencies where warranted. AM

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