Corteva Agriscience recently celebrated its first day of trading as an independent, pure-play company on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Tony Esmeraldo, the business director of Corteva Agriscience, described the momentous occasion as a welcome milestone for the Corteva team.

Corteva has been hard at work since the merger of Dow and DuPont in 2017 in preparation for this moment, said Esmeraldo. “I want to acknowledge the hard work of the Corteva team. They have gone above and beyond for the past two years to ensure that we reach this moment,” he added.

The heart of nature

At the start of the 2017 merger, the chief operating officer of this new agricultural company, James Collins, said in a press release that Corteva Agriscience is set on becoming a leading agricultural company focused on working together with the entire food system to produce a secure supply of healthy food.

Achieving independent trading status on the New York Stock Exchange brings Corteva one step closer towards realising that goal and living up to the company’s name. “The word ‘Corteva’ means the heart of nature, which is a comprehensive description in terms of our company and our area of operation. We work with climate, biology and different soils on a day to day basis,” added Esmeraldo.

Products and services

In terms of their products and services, Esmeraldo further explained that Corteva Agriscience has total end-to-end capability. “We have germplasm and biotech trades that are really important to farmers in the South African and African environments. We are also looking into the development of our own seed treatment.

“However, we know that the most critical area of product support should be catered directly towards farms. Therefore, we also supply crop protection products that actively protect yields. Lastly, we are also providing agronomy and digital services to both African and South African farmers.”

Future developments

In terms of future developments, Esmeraldo expressed excitement about the new products that Corteva Agriscience is developing. He said that, from a germplasm point of view, research investments are aiding the expansion of new products under the Pannar and Pioneer brands.

“We have seen positive results in terms of biotech improvements on corn and soya beans, so we have a big range of new biotech products available to farmers in South Africa. We are also expanding in the digital sphere to help farmers manage their farms with more precision. Digital advancement will also supply farmers with better economic practices.”

Ensuring profitability

According to Esmeraldo, the secret to a successful crop farming business starts with germplasm. “It all starts with a seed. However, you need to analyse the environment in which you operate. Farmers need more support in terms of seed placement. Furthermore, success is also dependent on effective crop protection practices and measurement.

“Through our granular companies, we have access to new tools that take measurement to a whole new level. However, we also must look at profitability per hectare and therefore pull economic data into those granular systems. The more profitable a farmer is, the more successful he or she will become, which allows for more growth, both for the farmer and for us as a company,” he concluded. – Claudi Nortjé, Plaas Media (on behalf of Corteva Agriscience)

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