Land O'Lakes, CHS to reposition retail ag operations

by Eric Schroeder
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INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, MINN. — Land O’Lakes, Inc. and CHS Inc. announced plans to reposition the retail agronomy business of Agriliance L.L.C. As part of the repositioning, the two companies are exploring the sale of The Agronomy Company of Canada, ProSource One and Agriliance retail locations in the southern United States to a group that includes certain members of the Agriliance management team and financial backers.

Last month, CHS and Land O’Lakes said they were repositioning the Agriliance crop nutrients and crop protection products businesses. As part of the repositioning, CHS said it would acquire the crop nutrients wholesale distribution business, while Land O’Lakes would acquire the crop protection products business. Land O’Lakes said it intends to align the crop protection products business with its Land O’Lakes Seed division.

Agriliance, which was formed in February 2000 as a 50-50 joint venture to distribute and market crop nutrients, crop protection products, seed and related technical services, will continue as a Land O’Lakes/CHS j.v. and operate its existing retail agronomy business.

The Agriliance crop nutrients business, which will be owned by CHS, provides local retailers and producers with primary crop nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Its supply network includes a deep-water port at Galveston, Texas, facilities at Memphis, Tenn., and strategically located crop nutrients terminals.

Under CHS ownership, the crop nutrients business will benefit from the company’s capabilities in logistics, distribution, risk management, and global trading, the companies said.

The Agriliance crop protection products operation, being acquired by Land O’Lakes, includes the AgriSolutions line of more than 200 adjuvants, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, defoliants and seed and grain protectants. These products are manufactured at plants in Hampton, Iowa; St. Joseph, Mo.; and Blytheville, Ark. The crop protection products operation also includes an extensive technology and education system.

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