Beyond Fertilizer

Agrotain International LLC started with one product and the desire to help farmers capture more of their nitrogen and enhance their bottomline. Before it was a company, Agrotain was also the name of the product the company is named after.

The company was formed to introduce Agrotain and its family of products. The Agrotain technology is a synthesized molecule that when added to urea or UAN becomes a stabilized form of nitrogen. It was discovered in the 1980s, but shelved. An effort to identify nitrogen stabilizers led to its acquisition by Agrico. In the mid-1990s, Agrico was sold to IMC, which later became Mosaic.

Lange-Stegmann, a wholesale fertilizer supplier, saw the potential a product like Agrotain could bring to its wholesale fertilizer business. The company bought the Agrotain product line and created a wholly owned subsidiary and named it Agrotain International LLC. Agrotain is a nitrogen stabilizer that prevents nitrogen loss from volatilization related to urease activity.

"Lange-Stegmann was interested in this product because we had worked with it in our turf and ornamentals side of the business," said Michael Stegmann, president, Agrotain International LLC. "We saw first-hand the efficacy of the product and were very interested in it."

Unlike the other fertilizer companies who had owned the product, Agrotain International LLC has focused strictly on the development of the product and its markets. The company started with six employees and Stegmann. Today, the company employs 65 people around the world and has its headquarters in St. Louis, Mo.

Today, the company offers multiple nitrogen stabilizer technology products, marketed under the names UMAXX, UFLEXX and SuperU. The company's latest product, Agrotain Plus EZ Flo, is a dry form of Agrotain for use with UAN.

"From the very beginning, we realized that we needed to educate ourselves about this product and the marketplace," Stegmann said. "Even today, a majority of our sales force's time is spent educating and helping our customers understand the benefits of our products. Our products are designed to be used any place urea is used, which includes more than just corn and wheat and more than just in the United States."

Stegmann explained that the company serves more than 70 countries with employees in Europe, South America and the Pacific Rim, and the company works in many crops as well as turf and ornamentals.

"The world is hungry for food, and that means the world is hungry for nitrogen. In order to sustain our growing population, we must improve the efficiency of nitrogen fertilizer and other inputs. Agrotain has been proven in more than 1,300 trials around the world to be effective in increasing nitrogen efficiency. That means better economic returns for farmers and better environmental returns for society."

Stegmann is a firm believer in the company's products. "We are a proud part of the agriculture industry and are very committed to making sure we offer significant economic, agronomic and environmental advantages to our customers with our products."

The company is dedicated to educating the community about its role in agriculture and the safety of modern agriculture.

"We are involved in the Nutrients for Life Foundation to help explain the value of fertilizer to the ag industry," Stegmann explained. "We support multiple state ag organizations and FFA. We also offer in-house tours of our facilities and a classroom for students to come and spend time learning about our role in the industry. We believe it's critically important that we do any and all things to educate our customers and the public about our products and our industry."