Insight on spray drift and off-patent chemistry
Ellenberger said he foresees the verification of drift reduction by a nozzle, adjuvant or other additive product earning a star rating from one to four with four reserved for the best drift reduction products on the market and ratings being similar to those handed out by the United Kingdom and possibly Europe.
The keynote address was made by Spencer Vance, president of Albaugh, Inc. The title was “State of the Crop Protection Industry and the Potential Success of 2,4-D and Dicamba Resistance Traits.”
Other presentation sessions on May 16 were made by two or more industry persons and/or university specialists. Titles were “Using Generic Pesticides to Manage Resistance,” “The 300 Bushel Corn Challenge,” “Soil Amendments for Water Conservation,” and “Risks vs. Rewards of 2,4-D and Dicamba Tolerant Crops.”
Vance explained that off-patent crop protection manufacturers and suppliers are having ups and downs, and multi-national companies are doing their best to maintain market share with various strategies. There are several major situations that are being addressed.
- Multi-nationals are continuing to develop and promote bundling programs.
- Multi-nationals are also working to extend the off-patent life of their original proprietary products.
- Generic product life cycle decreased up to half, now about 3 years, due to price erosions that occur.
- The herbicide market is down compared to the current and potential money in fungicides and insecticides.
- There is an emphasis on crop, seed trait development.
- Seed traits are being used to drive seed business and leverage those traits to sell herbicides.
- Data costs continue to be expensive for off-patent product companies, and the high costs do not end with data compensation.
- There is a continued shift to pre-plant incorporated and pre-emergence herbicides use on Roundup Ready crops.
- New off-shore entrants with short-term aspirations and plans for avoidance of data compensation are a concern.
- There is continued leverage by multi-nationals in dealing with major distributors.
- Market access by companies is difficult in the U.S. as there is domination by five or six major distributors and buying groups.
At one time there were 35 companies providing generic and off-patent product, but today most of those are not active, Vance said. One major problem has been glyphosate. He attributed the glyphosate business downturn with the appearance of resistant weeds plus Monsanto pricing as causing problems for companies. “It has been an interesting ride in the glyphosate business.”