Dow-DuPont Merger's DOJ Approval Raises Seed Competition Concerns

Jun 16, 2017

The $130 billion merger between Dow and DuPont received conditional federal approval Thursday.

The companies still have to address areas where the Department of Justice says they’ll have too big a market share, but those aren’t the areas that have Indiana farmers worried.

In approving the merger, the DOJ says Dow and DuPont have to relinquish control of a few assets – a chemical plant in Texas for Dow, and two of DuPont’s insecticide and herbicide brands.

The companies plan to split, post-merger, into three separate businesses, one of which would deal with agriculture.

But Indiana Farm Bureau lobbyist Bob White says farmers aren’t worried about having fewer choices of crop protection chemicals. They’re worried about seeds.

“Choice is important because every product reacts differently on every individual’s farm,” he says.

Soil and weather, the markets for different corn and soybean types, and farmers’ finances all affect what seeds they want to buy each year. White says Dow and DuPont control a huge portion of the seed market, which could drive up prices.

He says the merger could also impact jobs at Dow AgroSciences in Indianapolis and at rural seed dealerships the companies operate.

The deal has also been approved in Brazil, China and the European Union, but not yet in Canada or Mexico.