Corteva Agriscience Chief Executive Officer-elect, James C. Collins, Jr. presented an update on Corteva Agriscience’s industry-leading pipeline during the 2019 Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Agriculture & Chemicals Conference. Collins also shared a view on the Company’s continued actions to accelerate its product launches and the strategic steps the Company is taking as it progresses toward the intended separation from DowDuPont on June 1, 2019.
In an update on the Company’s strategy, Collins reaffirmed the priorities shared during its November Investor Day and highlighted the key strategic achievements across its Seed and Crop Protection businesses – detailing how, together with its digital capabilities and embedded competitive advantages, it expects to deliver sales of 1-2 percent above-market organic growth.
“We are building a different kind of agriculture company – a technology company with the future of agriculture and the needs of society at the forefront of what we do,” Collins says. “We are building a pure-play agriculture company, with leading Seed and Crop Protection product portfolios, underpinned by digital capabilities and expertise that is differentiated in the way we innovate and go to market.”
Delivering Value for Customers and Society
Collins presented a progress update on Corteva’s R&D pipeline – and the disciplined innovation the Company continues to drive. The Company highlighted recent product launches that drove gains in 2018, as well as new and upcoming launches expected to enable continued progress toward the Company’s stated strategic and financial targets.
“We advanced 13 technologies in our pipeline versus the prior year, with two moving to launch and five moving to ramp-up during this timeframe,” Collins says. “This is tremendous progress and illustrates our innovation and product launch machine at work.”
In the Seed platform, Collins shared additional detail on embedded capabilities, such as its germplasm advantage and advantaged routes to market globally. These advantages uniquely position Corteva to accelerate the near-term progress it is driving into the mid- and longer term by accelerating the speed of innovation and enabling a stronger product launch engine over time.
“Our germplasm advantage is an incredible asset, which, coupled with innovative discovery tools – is unique in the agriculture industry,” Collins says. “We leverage this experience and expertise across the globe with local characterization to find the right solutions for each acre.”
Collins shared how through the Company’s technology and its continued innovation to drive yield advantage, Corteva is well-positioned to deliver the expected above-market organic growth it has targeted in Seed. As a proof point in this journey, Collins highlighted recent and upcoming trait launches – including a detailed view on its plans for its game-changing Enlist weed control system.
First-half 2019 activities for the Enlist system will focus on expanding grower experiences with Enlist E3™ soybeans through demonstration plots, field technology days and other opportunities. In the second-half of 2019, the Company shared that it will focus on commercial sales efforts. Robust ramp-up plans and extensive seed production helps ensure that Enlist E3™ soybeans are available to farmers in 2020. Finally, rounding out this system, the Company expects more than 20 percent of its 2,4 D sales in 2019 to be in Enlist formulations, including burndown applications in the Americas.
Commenting on the Enlist system, Collins says, “I have never seen such pent-up demand for a product that we believe is going to be a game changer in the industry.”
In an update on the Crop Protection platform, Collins emphasized its focus – increasing differentiation to expand margins – striking a strong balance between patented and differentiated products and the cost-advantaged part of the portfolio.
“In Crop Protection, we expect to continue delivering above-market organic growth through not only disciplined capital allocation and a best-in-class cost structure – but also by launching innovative new products and delivering the returns we’ve committed to from these important technologies,” Collins says.
Collins shared updates on how Crop Protection launches represented a key driver in Corteva’s strategic progress in 2018. These launches drove organic growth of 17 percent and 10 percent in sales in the third quarter 2018 and fourth quarter 2018, respectively, with total sales growth of10 percent and 6 percent, respectively.
Looking ahead to future portfolio innovation, Collins illustrated how Corteva’s global scale, coupled with its localized research and customer relationship focus, are helping to maximize the productivity of its innovation and deliver needed solutions to growers around the world.
The Company provided an update on how its innovations in areas such as seed applied technology are leveraging the Company’s strengths in both seed and crop protection to enable stronger relationships with its customers globally.
Collins also shared an update on the Company’s digital agriculture offering – which rounds out Corteva’s complete solution offering. Collins discussed Corteva’s plans for global expansion of its Granular software solutions, beginning in 2019 with Brazil in addition to its existing footprint in Canada and Australia, and growing to additional countries in 2020.
“At Corteva, we have the expertise, capabilities and technology to work across Seed, Crop Protection and Digital – to find the right solution, a complete solution. Here, we are providing farmers with more choice and empowering them with more information to make those choices to increase productivity and profitability of the farm.”