Loveland Products, a subsidiary of Nutrien Ltd, has purchased a key soybean breeding program from chemicals giant BASF with plans to bolster its portfolio of seed products.
The deal, which includes a breeding site in Marion, Arkansas and Leland, Mississippi, allows Nutrien to develop soybean varieties tailored specifically for row crop growers in the South.
Loveland’s Dyna-Grow brand already houses breeding programs for rice and cotton aimed at Southern markets in the U.S. Adding soybeans to the mix was a natural step for Nutrien as it works to help growers “realize the full potential of their crops,” the company said.
“We believe this move will help growers increase their crop yields and achieve better-quality products,” Spencer Harris, senior vice president of global retail operations at Nutrien Ag Solutions, said in a statement Friday.
The acquisition comes as farmers plant more soybean acreage to meet demand for the growing biofuels industry, as well as for animal agriculture and human food consumption.
In 2021-2022, nearly 40% of domestic soybean oil went toward biofuels production as federal and state policies encouraged these efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Nearly two decades ago next to none of the oil went toward biofuels production.
In response to the burgeoning market, companies are bringing more processing facilities online.
Earlier this month, Cargill completed a yearslong expansion totaling $225 million in Sidney, Ohio that doubled the site’s crush capacity. About 60 miles northeast in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, Louis Dreyfus is investing $500 million on a soybean processing plant set for construction next year.
In addition to the Midwest, farmers are growing soybeans around the Mississippi Delta region, where they face a unique set of challenges such as beans rotting inside the pods.
Nutrien said it aims to create soybean varieties tailored for growers' unique needs through its latest acquisition. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.