Assure herbicide’s active ingredient under new ownership

Now being put to work in Enlist corn, the active ingredient in Assure II herbicide has a new owner.

California-based American Vanguard Corp., the owner of ag chemical producer Amvac Chemical, announced Thursday it has bought the quizalofop-p-ethyl (QPE) product line of herbicides from DowDuPont’s ag division, Corteva Agriscience, for an undisclosed sum.

A Group 1 member of the “-fop” family of aryloxyphenoxy propionate herbicides, Corteva’s QPE herbicide is so far  marketed mainly to canola, soybean and pulse growers in the U.S. and Canada, Amvac said.

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Corteva’s QPE brand Assure II, which came to the company from DuPont, is approved in Canada for post-emergent use against grassy weeds, volunteer cereals and volunteer corn in crops including canola, soybeans, flax, industrial hemp, sugar beets and faba beans, among others.

In Western Canada, QPE is also approved for use in chickpea and mustard crops; it’s also cleared for use in rutabagas in Ontario and Quebec and for lima beans, adzuki beans and mung beans in southern Ontario.

QPE’s emerging value, however, is seen to be in DowDuPont’s Enlist corn production system, which Dow launched for corn growers in the U.S. and Canada starting in the 2018 growing season.

The Enlist trait offers herbicide tolerance to 2,4-D and to fops such as quizalofop and fluazifop (best known as the active ingredient in Syngenta’s Venture L). Enlist corn hybrids are also stacked with a separate glyphosate tolerance trait.

The deal with Corteva also gives Amvac a license to market QPE for use alone or with Enlist herbicides in Enlist corn, which American Vanguard CEO Eric Wintemute described as “a segment that is forecast to grow considerably in coming years.”

Generally, he said, the QPE line “provides our crop protection business with a portfolio of valuable herbicide brands that hold significant leadership positions in the North American market.”

The QPE products, he added, “have a well-established market position, are solidly profitable and offer the promise of growth as the Enlist trait technology expands.”

Amvac, he said, “will continue multiple existing supply agreements for these products and incorporate the sales and marketing of these brands into our expanding portfolio of herbicide offerings.”

Amvac’s deal with Corteva gives it the QPE line’s technical registrations and commercial sales information, and the transfer of existing product supply arrangements.

Amvac in recent years has expanded its chemical portfolio through acquisitions such as Bayer’s bromacil (Hyvar, Krovar) herbicide lines in the U.S. and Canada in 2018, as well as Adama’s U.S. abamectin, chlorothalonil and paraquat businesses in 2017.

Corteva is expected to spin off from DowDuPont as a “pure play” ag company in June this year, as per the plan laid out by Dow Chemical and DuPont following their merger as DowDuPont in August 2017. –– Glacier FarmMedia Network


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