The Latest News From Verdesian

Verdesian Life Sciences Announces New Biological Herbicide

December 1, 2014

Cary, NC-- Verdesian Life Sciences, LLC (“Verdesian”) announces a new product that will soon give growers of cereal crops, grass seed, alfalfa and managers of rangeland and non-cropland areas access to a new biological herbicide for suppression of downy brome.

Discovered by scientist Ann Kennedy with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, the bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens, strain D7, offers significant activity to combat downy brome, commonly known as cheatgrass. D7 has been further developed for the commercial market by Verdesian Life Sciences.

An invasive species, downy brome infests millions of acres of cropland, rangeland and non-crop areas across the United States. The weed, which outcompetes native grasses, is especially troublesome for winter wheat growers as its development cycle parallels that of winter wheat. In rangeland and non-crop areas, the unwanted plant has virtually eliminated native grass species and the highly flammable weed blankets the ground to provide fertile fuel for brush fires. In addition, the seeds produced by this invasive weed are very irritating to grazing animals and can induce significant stress in livestock.

The plant's extensive root system is a key to downy brome's proliferation. D7 suppresses the weed's development and growth. For wheat growers who currently control the weed with herbicides that inhibit acetolactate synthase (ALS), D7 will offer a second mode of action to improve activity and help protect against resistance development. Uniquely, D7 does not control weeds through pathogenic interactions but rather through the secretion of chemicals selectively suppressive to cheatgrass.

“Most herbicides for control of cheatgrass are ALS-inhibiting,” said Ryan Bond, Ph.D., vice president of marketing, Verdesian. “We've seen some resistance development in the last few years, and D7 will give growers a tool to help mitigate that risk by offering a novel mode of action.”

“We're committed to developing and acquiring new technologies to help growers improve plant health and increase marketable yield,” said Greg Thompson, chief operating officer, Verdesian. “Verdesian is pleased to bring growers and land managers a new biological solution for this devastating weed.”

D7 will be used at low use rates of 2 grams per acre, and its flexible and unique application allows it to be applied in-furrow, via aerial application or as a seed treatment. D7 will be commercially available in 2015.

Verdesian Life Sciences Expands Sales Force

November 13, 2014

Cary, NC-- Verdesian Life Sciences, LLC (Verdesian) is bolstering its sales force to further enhance customer focus and service. The new sales representatives will work with growers, retail partners and distributors to oversee technical training and product education

“As the leader in plant health and nutrition, we strive to provide the highest-quality assistance to our customers,” said Greg Thompson, chief operating officer for Verdesian. “The livelihoods of farmers are dependent on the decisions they make, and they can take comfort in knowing they are talking to someone knowledgeable and experienced in the agriculture industry.”

Steve Pickle and Don Stork are joining the Verdesian team as technical sales representatives in the Nutritionals division. Merlin Blackwood will be transferring from the Nutritionals division and serve as a technical sales representative in the Seed Treatments & Inoculants division. Dave Kaltenberg will be moving into the role of product specialist for More Than Manure® (MTM®) Nutrient Manager. Each team member will manage all sales and customer accounts in their respective territories.

“We are excited to have Merlin, Dave, Steve and Don in these new roles,” Thompson said. “They each bring at least 15 years of industry experience, and we look forward to the value they will offer our customers in their territories.”

  • New Sales Team Members
  • Merlin Blackwood
  • Merlin Blackwood is a technical sales representative for the Seed Treatments & Inoculants division, serving customers in northern Alabama, Arkansas, northern Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. Prior to this role, Blackwood served as a sales representative for Northwest Ag Products and held sales and agronomy positions for Lawrence Farmers Coop and CPS. Blackwood earned his bachelor's degree in agricultural business and minor in marketing from Middle Tennessee State University.
  • Dave Kaltenberg
  • Dave Kaltenberg is a product specialist for More Than Manure. Prior to this role, Kaltenberg served as a regional account manager for SFP and a sales representative for Tri County Cooperative, T H Agri-Chemicals, Widen Enterprises and Royster-Clark. Kaltenberg earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • Steve Pickle
  • Steve Pickle is a technical sales representative for the Nutritionals division serving customers in North Dakota and South Dakota. Before joining Verdesian, Pickle worked as a specialty products technical manager for Gavilon Fertilizer, a regional account manager for SFP and spent time at United Suppliers, Inc. and United Agri Products. Pickle earned his bachelor's degree in crop and weed science from North Dakota State University and is a Certified Crop Advisor (CCA).
  • Don Stork
  • Don Stork is a technical sales representative for the Nutritionals division serving customers in northern Illinois, northeast Iowa and Wisconsin. Prior to joining Verdesian, Stork worked as a regional manager for StollerUSA and as an agronomy sales specialist for Cooperative Plus, Inc. Stork studied business at the University of Dubuque.
  • Verdesian Life Sciences Announces New Seed Inoculant Product for Soybeans

    November 11, 2014

    Cary, NC-- Verdesian Life Sciences, LLC (Verdesian) has announced the latest addition to its portfolio of seed enhancement products - Preside CL, a new soybean seed inoculant, available for the 2015 growing season.

    Preside CL opens the door for added nodules, bringing more nitrogen in and generating a healthier plant right from the start. The product provides four times more rhizobia than the competition, increasing the number of productive root nodules that fix more nitrogen for the plant.

    “We're in the business of providing farmers with the best start possible to their growing season, and this product pays off that promise, particularly as growers are planting as early as possible,” said J.J. Grow, chief executive officer for Verdesian. “We think soybean growers will appreciate the fact that Preside CL helps create strong, healthy plants that can withstand adversity early in the season.”

    Preside CL also contains the Take Off® technology from Verdesian that improves the nutrient acquisition and utilization of the plant. This combination of technology helps soybeans produce up to 65 percent more nodule mass than soybeans treated with a conventional inoculant. More nodule mass and root development lead to better nitrogen utilization, which, of course, leads to more bushels in the bin.

    The inoculant proves its worth in replicated field trials. Seeds inoculated with Preside CL reached canopy closure faster than those with conventional inoculants. Canopy row closure by pod set (R3 growth stage) helps the plant maximize light interception during the critical pod- and seed-filling period and also can reduce soil moisture loss.

    For seed treaters, the efficiency with which Preside CL is applied also helps the product stand apart. It has low viscosity, which limits stickiness during application to the seed, reducing bridging on treating equipment and thus the time spent handling the seed. The low viscosity also translates to ease of planting for the grower.

    The Preside CL package consists of only two liquid bladder components, compared to the competitive standard of three, for ease and simplicity. Speed of application is also improved for the applicator due to the low use rate and low viscosity of the formulation. This minimizes the drying time and further speeds up the application process.

    “The ease of use, in addition to product efficiency, makes the new Preside CL a top choice for seed treaters and growers who are looking to harvest the full potential of today's high-value seed,” said Jim Pullins, marketing manager for Verdesian Seed Treatments & Inoculants.

    For more information, contact your Verdesian technical sales representative or visit www.vlsci.com.

    Verdesian Life Sciences Aligns To Meet Customers' Needs

    November 4, 2014

    Cary, NC-- Balancing current needs while keeping an eye on future possibilities is a familiar practice for most businesses. In order to complete the task, Verdesian Life Sciences, LLC (Verdesian) is creating a new structure for the sales and marketing teams.

    “Our sales and marketing leaders hold the keys to bringing current and new technologies to our customers,” said Greg Thompson, chief operating officer for Verdesian. “To be the leader in the plant health and nutrition market, we need to have the right people with the skills and knowledge in the right places to deliver smart, efficient solutions.”

    The sales team leadership includes Mike Blanding and Glen Wiggins moving into roles as vice president of sales for the Seed Treatments & Inoculants division. For the Nutritionals division Dave Schwartz will serve as executive vice president of sales and Steve Dal Sasso and Reggie Underwood both as vice president of sales. Each vice president will work with their team of technical sales representatives to meet the needs of distributors, retailers and producers in their territories.

    The marketing team includes Ryan Bond as vice president of marketing; Michael Berry serving as senior marketing manager, Nutritionals; and Jim Pullins as marketing manager, Seed Treatments & Inoculants. They will manage the technology platforms and corresponding brands from concept throughout the products' lifecycle. Responsibilities include developing and executing market strategies for all products and supporting the Verdesian sales team.

    “We are excited about the capabilities Mike, Glen, Dave, Steve and Reggie will bring to our sales team,” said Thompson. “They all have been in the business for a long time and bring a wealth of knowledge to our company. Ryan, Michael and Jim bring expertise to the marketing team that will help us understand and provide what the market needs.”

  • Sales Team Leadership
  • Seed Treatments & Inoculants
  • Mike Blanding
  • Mike Blanding is vice president of sales, Seed Treatments & Inoculants, for the Northern region and is on the Verdesian board of directors. Prior to this role, Blanding was founder and CEO of INTX Microbials, LLC and a regional sales manager for Land O'Lakes. Blanding earned his bachelor's degree from Purdue University.
  • Glen Wiggins
  • Glen Wiggins is vice president of sales, Seed Treatments & Inoculants, for the Southern region. Prior to this role, Wiggins was vice president of sales for INTX Microbials, LLC. Previously, Wiggins served as national sales manager for Seedbiotics/Becker Underwood and as a location manager for Terra Industries. Wiggins earned his bachelor's degree in agronomy and soils from Auburn University and is a Certified Crop Advisor (CCA).
  • Nutritionals

  • Steve Dal Sasso
  • Steve Dal Sasso is vice president of sales, Nutritionals, for the Western region. Prior to this role, Dal Sasso worked as the business development manager with LidoChem, turf and ornamental business manager for Arysta LifeScience and held key sales positions with legacy Syngenta companies.
  • Dave Schwartz
  • Dave Schwartz is executive vice president of sales, Nutritionals, for the Midwest region. Prior to this role, Schwartz served as vice president of new product development for SFP, sales manager for Van Diest Supply Co. and as a sales representative and trainer for Ciba Geigy. Schwartz earned his bachelor's degree in business management and mass communications from Buena Vista University.
  • Reggie Underwood
  • Reggie Underwood is vice president of sales, Nutritionals, for the Southern and Eastern regions. Prior to this role, Underwood served as national sales manager for SFP and worked in sales and managerial roles for Ciba-Geigy, Helena Chemical Inc. and Albaugh Inc. Underwood received his bachelor's degree in animal science from Tarleton State University.
  • Marketing Team Members

  • Ryan Bond
  • Ryan Bond is vice president of marketing for Verdesian. Prior to this role, Bond served as vice president, product and technology development, for Verdesian. Bond's previous experiences include market manager for BASF and several years in marketing with Loveland Products, Inc./Crop Production Services. Bond has an MBA from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and a Ph.D. in soil science from North Carolina State University. Bond earned his master's in crop and soil environmental science and his bachelor's in agronomy from Clemson University.
  • Michael Berry
  • Michael Berry is senior marketing manager, Nutritionals. Prior to this role, Berry served as vice president of business relations and director of marketing for SFP. Berry earned his bachelor's degree in journalism and advertising from the University of Missouri, Columbia.
  • Jim Pullins
  • Jim Pullins is marketing manager, Seed Treatments & Inoculants. Prior to this role, Pullins spent time as a sales representative for INTX Microbials, LLC and held sales positions with Becker-Underwood and Monsanto. Pullins earned his bachelor's degree in animal science from Eastern Kentucky University.
  • Verdesian Life Sciences Signs Agreement with Los Alamos National Laboratory

    October 30, 2014

    Cary, NC-- Verdesian Life Sciences, LLC (“Verdesian”) today announced that it has signed a licensing agreement with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) to develop and market LANL's latest nitrogen enhancement technology for plants. The agreement extends the current relationship with LANL, under which Verdesian is marketing and distributing the research institution's Take Off® crop nitrogen assimilator.

    This newest nitrogen innovation helps improve photosynthesis by increasing carbon flow into a plant's metabolism. This enhances the formation of amino acids, which perform multiple functions in plant metabolism and are critical to healthy plant growth. Testing shows the new innovation not only enhances vegetative growth, but also impacts reproductive growth.

    “Nitrogen is one of the costliest, but critical, controllable inputs that can lead to a yield advantage,” said Nigel Grech, executive vice president, science & technology, Verdesian. “Unfortunately, our current methods of distributing nitrogen can result in great inefficiencies with a negative impact on the environment and wasted resources. This technology not only significantly adds to the ability of the farmer to improve crop nitrogen efficiency but also assists in coping with expanding regulations that are impacting agriculture globally. Our nitrogen efficiency innovation platforms have the potential to revolutionize agriculture as we know it.”

    Verdesian will continue to work on the development of this new technology through 2014 with anticipated market entry by 2017.

    “We are proud of our relationship with the Los Alamos National Laboratory; they are an important partner in our commitment to taking tomorrow's science and delivering today's returns,” said J.J. Grow, chief executive officer of Verdesian. “The lab's proven technology helps us bring value to growers in both yield and efficiencies, and we look forward to our continued work together.”

    About Los Alamos National Laboratory (www.lanl.com)

    Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, a team composed of Bechtel National, the University of California, The Babcock & Wilcox Company and URS for the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration. Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health and global security concerns.

    Verdesian Life Sciences Increases Sales Staff

    October 14, 2014

    Cary, NC-- In continuing efforts to remain customer-centric, Verdesian Life Sciences, LLC (Verdesian) is expanding its sales staff. The new account managers will drive sales growth and support relationships with key customers in the plant nutrition and seed treatment and inoculants product categories.

    “As we continue to grow and attract new talent, we strive to keep the focus on our customers,” said Greg Thompson, chief operating officer for Verdesian. “The plant health and nutrition markets are rapidly expanding. Creating the perfect fit with our staff's knowledge, product strengths and geographic needs allows us to build valuable relationships and better serve our customers.”

    Bob Bischoff, John Henize, Brad Meckle and Mark Seipel are joining the Verdesian sales team as regional account managers and will manage all sales and customer accounts in their respective territories. Randy Kegler joins as a technical sales representative serving as a specialist in the Southeast for More Than Manure® (MTM®) Nutrient Manager.

    “We are pleased to have Bob, John, Brad, Mark, and Randy join our Verdesian sales team,” Thompson said. “They each bring unique perspectives and expertise from their wide-ranging experiences in the agriculture industry. We look forward to the value they will offer our customers.”

    New Sales Team Members

  • Bob Bischoff
  • Bob Bischoff is a regional account manager for Verdesian Seed Treatments & Inoculants serving customers in the northeast portion of the US. Prior to joining Verdesian, Bischoff was a business development manager for AgriMaXX Wheat Company, served as eastern account manager for INCOTEC and was a business manager for AgriPro Coker. Bischoff earned his associate degree from Terra Community College, received graduate certifications from multiple institutes and has served on theboard of directors for several crop associations.

  • John Henize
  • John Henize is a regional account manager serving customers in Kentucky and Ohio. Prior to joining Verdesian, Henize served as a sales manager for Nachurs Alpine Solutions, a crop consultant for Crop Production Services and was a manager of Henize Agri-Source Inc. Henize earned his associate of applied sciences degree from Southern State Community College and is a Certified Crop Advisor.

  • Randy Kegler
  • Randy Kegler is a technical sales representative for the Southeastern United States. Prior to joining Verdesian, Kegler served as an agriculture teacher and FFA advisor in Florida and was an aquatic sales representative with Asgrow Florida Co. Kegler earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Florida.

  • Brad Meckle
  • Brad Meckle is a regional account manager for Verdesian Seed Treatments & Inoculants serving customers in western North Dakota and eastern Montana. Prior to joining Verdesian, Meckle spent time with Monsanto, Novozymes, EMD and Pulse USA. Meckle attended Bismarck State College and Dickinson State University.

  • Mark Seipel
  • Mark Seipel is a regional account manager serving customers in western Illinois, eastern Missouri and southeast Iowa. Prior to joining Verdesian, Seipel was a sales manager for FBSciences Incorporated, Redball LLC and Yetter Manufacturing Company. Seipel earned his bachelor's degree in education from Northwest Missouri State University.

    Verdesian Life Sciences Acquires QC Corporation

    September 30, 2014

    Cary, NC-- Verdesian Life Sciences, LLC (“Verdesian”) today announced that it has acquired QC Corporation (“QC”), a leading producer and supplier of granular and dry micronutrients and ferrous sulfate products. The combined company will continue to be owned by and have the capital backing of Paine & Partners. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

    “We are excited to welcome QC and its micronutrient platform, including its unique Nutripaction compaction granulation technology, to Verdesian,” said J.J. Grow, chief executive officer of Verdesian. “The Gordon family and the rest of QC's employees share our commitment to researching and developing innovative and proven yield enhancing plant-health products.”

    The Gordon family will continue to lead the day-to-day operations of QC and manage QC customer relationships. Jason Gordon will serve as president of QC, a Verdesian Life Sciences Company. The rest of QC's employees, including QC's founder Don Gordon, will also continue to remain actively involved in the business.

    Jason Gordon, president of QC, said, “QC's leading micronutrient business and manufacturing capabilities are highly complementary to Verdesian's plant health and nutrition offerings. This combination enables us to leverage Verdesian's resources and growth platform to capitalize on new opportunities while continuing to provide QC's customers with the innovation and service that has been the cornerstone of QC's success over the last 40 years. JJ and the Verdesian team share our core values, namely the creation of best-in-class products and outstanding customer service.”

    “This combination advances Verdesian's position as a market leader with innovative product solutions along with a deep pipeline of next generation technologies for the specialty and agricultural markets globally,” said J.J. Grow, chief executive officer of Verdesian. “QC is an established market leader in the fast-growing micronutrients category. We expect that the combination will bring QC's expertise increasingly into Verdesian's core agricultural markets, while QC's lawn and garden, and turf and ornamental customers will see new applications for Verdesian's proprietary products.”

    About QC Corporation

    Founded in 1971 by Don Gordon and family owned for 42 years, QC Corporation is a leading producer and supplier of granular and dry micronutrients and ferrous sulfate products. QC's compaction process makes it one of the only micronutrient producers that can offer 100% water solubility in a multi- ingredient granulated product and the ability to granulate mixtures of sulfates, chelates, sucrates, oxysulfates, and oxides to yield immediate, intermediate, and long term uptake. These products help to prevent or correct micronutrient deficiencies while achieving higher and more profitable yields in lawn and garden, golf course, turf management, ornamental and crop applications. QC also processes and produces more than 80,000 tons of ferrous sulfate products from its multiple processing facilities annually and is the only domestic manufacturer of all forms of ferrous sulfate products in North America. For further information about QC and its products, visit www.qccorporation.com.

    Robert Berendes Joins Verdesian Life Sciences Board of Directors

    September 2, 2014

    Cary, NC-- Verdesian Life Sciences announced today that Robert Berendes has recently joined the company's board of directors.

    "Robert brings a great depth of knowledge of product development and organizational growth," said J.J. Grow, Verdesian Chief Executive Officer. "Our board is delighted to welcome him as our newest member. The perspective Robert brings to Verdesian and our board, coupled with his enthusiasm to work with a growing technology-driven company, are incredibly valuable given our commitment to developing a diverse portfolio of plant health and nutrition products."

    Kevin Schwartz, President of Paine & Partners, the majority owner of Verdesian, added his welcome. "Robert is a tremendous addition to the Verdesian board. We at Paine & Partners worked closely with Robert over several years while he was at Syngenta in connection with our investment in Advanta, then one of the largest agronomic seed companies in the world," said Schwartz. "With Robert, we solved a number of complex transactional issues and established a strong long-term relationship based on a shared vision for driving increased agricultural efficiency."

    "Verdesian and its portfolio of products are perfect examples of how innovative technology enables farmers to grow more even in the face of environmental considerations and less tillable land," said Berendes. "I'm looking forward to working with Verdesian to help growers achieve greater productivity."

    Berendes joins the Verdesian board with a strong background in the agriculture industry. Now co-owner and partner of a-connect, a global consulting firm specializing in strategy implementation, growth projects and change management, Berendes previously worked with Syngenta Crop Protection.

    He joined Syngenta in 2002 from McKinsey & Company. From 2007 through 2014, Berendes was Syngenta's head of business development and a member of the executive committee. Additionally since October 2012, he had interim responsibility for the company's research and development. Prior to that he headed the diverse field crops unit, and from 2002 to 2005 was head of the strategy, planning and M&A department.

    Verdesian Life Sciences, Mitsui Chemicals Agro and Hokusan Announce Licensing Agreement

    August 21, 2014

    Cary, NC-- Mitsui Chemicals Agro, Inc. (MCAG), and Hokusan Co., Ltd. (HOK), announced the signing of an exclusive licensing agreement allowing Verdesian Life Sciences global access to its patented technology for suppressing mycotoxin contamination in wheat and barley, a significant problem for growers.

    Under the terms of the agreement, MCAG and HOK have granted Verdesian an exclusive license to commercialize this expanded usage for Verdesian's proprietary Systemic Acquired Resistance (SAR) technologies in all countries except Japan. That means wheat and barley growers will now have access to this technology to help fight mycotoxins through a number of Verdesian products.

    Mycotoxins are chemicals that are toxic to humans and livestock, and are a result of fungal infection. The most prevalent pathogen responsible is Fusarium head blight, also known as scab, which causes more than $2 billion in losses worldwide, annually. Small grain producers face devastating yield losses due to poor grain quality, lower test weights and mycotoxin contamination in years when Fusarium head blight is severe. And, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, mycotoxins are a growing problem for the cereals industry.

    Deoxynivalenol (DON) is one of the most potent mycotoxins. Even low levels of infection can result in unacceptable levels of DON in the grain. Farmers can incur significant losses in income due not only to yield losses but also rejection of wheat and barley shipments due to DON contamination.

    While less susceptible varieties, crop rotation and management practices to reduce contaminated grains are common practices to fight infection, the MACG/HOK patent expands the use of Verdesian's patented SAR products as a valuable method for inhibiting mycotoxin, particularly DON, contamination in cereals.

    "Even fungicides with good activity against Fusarium head blight may offer poor suppression of mycotoxins," said Nigel Grech, executive vice president, science and technology, Verdesian. "In fact, strobilurin fungicides, while controlling Fusarium head blight, can actually induce increases in the level of DON in grain tissues."

    Research shows that Verdesian's SAR chemistry significantly reduced DON levels to below acceptable levels in wheat and barley, as well as inhibited the strobilurin-induced increase in DON when tank-mixed with azoxystrobin.

    "Uniquely, Fusarium head blight of wheat and barley is a disease that, even when infections levels are low, the associated mycotoxins that contaminate the grain can result in crop rejections," Grech added, which is why the company was interested in this new licensing agreement.

    "Verdesian remains committed to developing and acquiring new technologies that improve plant health and increase marketable yield," said Greg Thompson, chief operating officer for Verdesian. "We're excited to further the development of our expanding SAR platforms that contribute to a solution for this very serious challenge that affects wheat and barley growers."

    MCAG/HOK distributes certain Verdesian products in Japan, and this new technology represents the culmination of more than 10 years of joint research among the three companies.

    "Verdesian Life Sciences, Mitsui Chemicals Agro, Inc., and Hokusan Co Ltd., have cooperated together on this project for many years," said Shinya Niimi, manager, Product Development Group, Development Department of MCAG. "We are most pleased that we have concluded an agreement that will result in a technology being available to growers that will greatly benefit food safety."

    Verdesian products that contain this technology will be available for use in late 2014.

    Verdesian Life Sciences is a plant health and nutrition company with patented biological, nutritional, seed treatment and inoculant technologies that help specialty and row crop growers and turf management professionals maximize their nitrogen and phosphorus investments. Founded in 2012 to acquire and grow plant health product companies, Verdesian is based in Cary, N.C., with production and manufacturing facilities in Visalia, Calif., Pasco, Wash., and Kentland, Ind.

    Verdesian Life Sciences is a portfolio company of Paine & Partners, LLC.

    About Mitsui Chemicals Agro, Inc.

    Mitsui Chemicals (Tokyo:4183, ISIN:JP3888300005), which traces its roots back to 1912, has an annual sales of US$ 15,660 million in the fiscal year ending March 2014 and more than 135 companies with 14,500 employees in 27 countries. As one of Japan's leading chemical companies, Mitsui Chemicals contributes broadly to society by providing high-quality products and services to customers through innovations and creation of materials and products while keeping in harmony with the global environment. Mitsui Chemicals' business portfolio includes healthcare, automotive materials, food packaging, energy, agrochemicals, and others.

    Mitsui Chemicals' global agrochemical business is operated by its 100% subsidiary, Mitsui Chemicals Agro, Inc. who supplies innovative agrochemicals for crop protection and pest management. The company always stands for customer's view, offers "Very safe", "Highly functional", and "Environmentally friendly" products and services, and contributes to the sustainable agriculture.

    Latest group news can be found at www.mitsuichem.com.

    About Hokusan Co. Ltd

    Hokusan, which was founded in 1951 as a manufacturer of agrochemicals, has an annual sales of 10,482 million Yen in fiscal year ending September 2013 only in Hokkaido in Japan with 164 employees. Hokusan contributes to farming and farmers in Hokkaido by providing high-quality products and services, especially as the only one agricultural manufacturer with a research division in Hokkaido. Also Hokusan has been developing and industrializing a product made using biotechnology. Hokusan's business portfolio includes artificial soil, seedlings of strawberries, veterinary chemicals and others.

    Verdesian Life Sciences acquires Specialty Fertilizer Products (SFP)

    July 1, 2014

    Cary, NC-- Verdesian Life Sciences announced that it has acquired Specialty Fertilizer Products (SFP), a Leawood, Kansas-based company focused on fertilizer efficiency products. The transaction promises to benefit customers by building on Verdesian's history of bringing new, intellectually protected and patented products to market.

    By joining forces with SFP, Verdesian will gain more than 270 patent properties and be able to offer:

    -A broader portfolio for customers;
    -More solutions to meet growers' needs;
    -A greater focus on key customers with the largest plant nutritional sales force in the United States; and
    -A robust pipeline in plant nutrition.

    “SFP's innovative fertilizer solutions are a natural fit with Verdesian's expansive product offerings that increase grower yields and return on investment," said J.J. Grow, chief executive officer for Verdesian Life Sciences. "Bringing SFP into the Verdesian family represents another step in our long-term strategy to build a leading portfolio of plant health and nutrition products."

    Verdesian will further enhance its position in the crop markets with the addition of AVAIL® Phosphorus Fertilizer Enhancer, NutriSphere-N® Nitrogen Fertilizer Manager and More Than Manure® Nutrient Manager. These products complement the current portfolio that includes Nutri-Phite® and Nutri-Phite® Plus, Sterics®, Take Off®, PolyAmines™, and the INTX® line of inoculants and seed treatments.

    "We are confident that the addition of SFP's outstanding team, impressive product lineup and excellent reputation for service will be a great combination with Verdesian Life Sciences," Grow added. "This move strengthens our ability to bring a new level of plant health technology to customers as the demand and expectations for these valuable products continue to grow. We also remain committed to the research and development of products that are environmentally sustainable."

    "We are excited to join Verdesian, which will enable us to take our business to the next level," said SFP founder J. Larry Sanders, who has served as president and chief executive officer. "As part of Verdesian, we will be able to offer our revolutionary and environmentally beneficial fertilizer efficiency technology to more growers in more markets, and to bring the exciting products we have in our pipeline to market. Verdesian shares our commitment to helping growers optimize their resources, and we look forward to working with J.J. Grow and the team to continue providing our customers the latest solutions in fertilizer efficiency technology that they expect from us."

    According to Grow, there will be no immediate staffing changes except in the reporting structure at the senior management level. For example, Sanders has been named executive vice president of Polymer Technology and will report to Verdesian's J.J. Grow. The sales forces of both organizations will continue to service their clients through 2014. In early 2015, SFP will become Verdesian and a combined sales force will be formed.

    Financial terms of the deal will not be disclosed. The current U.S. and international pricing, product distribution, programs and policies for all products offered by Verdesian Life Sciences, including the acquired SFP products, will remain in place through 2014.

    Verdesian Life Sciences is a plant health and nutrition company with patented biological, nutritional, seed treatment and inoculant technologies that help specialty and row crop growers and turf management professionals maximize their nitrogen and phosphorus investments. Founded in 2012 to acquire and grow plant health product companies, Verdesian is based in Cary, N.C., with production and manufacturing facilities in Visalia, Calif., Pasco, Wash., and Kentland, Ind.

    Nufarm to Market Verdesian Life Sciences Product in United States and Canada

    May 19, 2014

    Cary, NC-- Verdesian Life Sciences announces that Nufarm will be the exclusive marketer and seller of its Bloomtime® product in the United States and Canada, effective Jan. 1, 2015. Verdesian Life Sciences will continue to market Bloomtime for the remainder of this season.

    Bloomtime is a naturally-occurring biological that suppresses fire blight in apples and pears. It can be used on conventional and organic acres, does not impact pollinators such as honey bees, and fits well into a fire blight resistance management program.

    “Verdesian is pleased with the partnership we've formed with Nufarm, and we are confident that our alliance will bring value to both companies,” said Greg Thompson, chief sales and marketing officer for Verdesian. “The agreement allows Verdesian to focus our efforts in growing our core markets in nutrition, plant health, seed treatment and inoculants, and on bringing our deep pipeline of new technologies to market.”

    “The addition of Bloomtime to our portfolio aligns perfectly with our focus on delivering a broad range of solutions and allows our customers access to this essential product to fight fire blight,” said Rob Schwehr, marketing manager – TNVV, Nufarm. “For the organic segment, Bloomtime, with its OMRI listing, complements Nufarm’s extensive portfolio of products for apple and pear growers, many of which are also OMRI-listed.”

    Verdesian Life Sciences Hires Mike Howell

    May 1, 2014

    Cary, NC-- Mike Howell has been named a technical services representative for Verdesian Life Sciences, working with Verdesian's existing and future line of nutrition technologies.

    In his new position, Howell will work closely with the Verdesian sales team to meet customers' needs as well as help manage field development of new product technologies and research trials with university, customers, and private research groups.

    Howell's history of success in directing product research and developing solutions for customers aligns well with the company's future growth expectations, said Greg Thompson, chief sales and marketing officer for Verdesian. “His knowledge of the industry and his passion for new technology make him an excellent fit for this important role.”

    Prior to joining Verdesian, Howell was a field agronomist for Agrium Advanced Technologies where he developed and implemented research projects with third-party researchers and promoted technical and agronomic benefits with key customers both in the United States and in international markets. Previous positions include research manager for Monsanto Company and both research assistant and extension service educator with Mississippi State University.

    Howell earned his bachelor's degree in soil science, master's degree in entomology and is completing his doctorate degree in agronomy from Mississippi State University. He is a certified commercial pesticide applicator and has published more than 70 scientific papers and professional presentations.

    Verdesian Life Sciences Hires Kurt Seevers

    February 4, 2014

    Cary, NC-- Verdesian Life Sciences is pleased to announce that Kurt Seevers has joined INTX Microbials, a Verdesian Life Sciences company, as Technical Services Representative - Seed Treatment & Inoculant. Kurt will be responsible for all technical elements of Verdesian inoculant and seed treatment products. He will work closely with the INTX sales team as well as overseeing field development of new product technologies and third-party research trials.

    We are pleased to have someone with Kurt's technical expertise in the seed treatment and inoculant field, said Greg Thompson, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer. He will be a key member of our field and new development initiative teams. We look forward to the value his field experience will offer customers of INTX Microbials.

    Kurt has spent more than 20 years in various positions including technical services, agronomist, sales & marketing and product development. He spent the last 10 years working with Becker Underwood, most recently as field development leader. Kurt transitioned to BASF Corporation with its recent acquisition of Becker Underwood, working as a senior field biologist, seed.

    Kurt holds a master's in entomology from the University of Missouri. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska.

    Verdesian Life Sciences Hires Gary Orr

    January 6, 2014

    Cary, NC-- Verdesian Life Sciences announces that Gary Orr has joined the company as Director of Regulatory and Project Management. Gary will lead the U.S. regulatory efforts as Verdesian establishes a dedicated regulatory department to complement our product development initiatives

    Gary has a proven track record in product registration and product development. In his past positions he has worked closely with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to obtain and maintain product registrations. He joins Verdesian from United Phosphorus, Inc., where he was Regulatory Affairs Manager. He has also worked with Arysta LifeScience and Griffin. Gary began his regulatory career at Ciba-Geigy.

    We are pleased to have Gary join our team to help us continue to develop our regulatory department, said JJ Grow, Chief Executive Officer. His experience working with the EPA and his background in bioorganic chemistry will enhance our efforts as we continue to grow the Verdesian business and expand our portfolio.

    Gary has a Ph.D. in bioorganic chemistry from the University of Connecticut, Storrs. He obtained his bachelor's in chemistry from Northern Michigan University.

    Verdesian Hires Steve Dal Sasso as Vice President of Sales

    October 14, 2013

    Cary, NC-- Verdesian Life Sciences has hired Steve Dal Sasso as Vice President of Sales. Steve will manage the U.S. nutrition sales team and will work closely with the our experienced team of technical sales representatives across the US to help drive sales growth, support relationships with key customers, and continue to integrate the sales team into One Verdesian.

    Steve has a long career in sales and marketing in the crop and non-crop markets. Most recently, Steve worked as Business Development Manager with LidoChem, where he set up distribution for the company ' s line of fertilizers and nutritional products. Prior to that, Steve was Turf & Ornamental Business Manager for Arysta LifeScience and held key sales positions with legacy Syngenta companies.

    We are pleased to have Steve join our team to help us expand our reach across the United States,said Greg Thompson, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer.His experience and customer relationships will further enhance our already strong position in the plant health and nutrition markets and enable us to provide more effective service to our distributor partners.

    Verdesian Hires Allen Taylor as Regional Account Manger

    October 7, 2013

    Cary, NC-- Verdesian Life Sciences announces the hiring of Allen Taylor as Regional Account Manager. Allen brings more than two decades of industry experience to Verdesian and will manage all sales and customer accounts in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska.

    We are excited to have Allen on board, said Greg Thompson, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer. Allen brings volumes of industry knowledge to Verdesian, and his sales acumen will help lead brand growth and visibility in a key growth geography for us. We look forward to him matching the Verdesian products' strengths with agronomic needs in the areas he covers.

    Allen was most recently in sales and market development for the Agrinos Company, headquartered in Oslo, Norway. Allen also has extensive experience with biologicals, having worked as Regional Manager for AgraQuest. He began his agricultural career in the vegetable seed industry.

    Allen has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from Washington State University and has attended Texas A&M University.

    Verdesian has Acquired INTX Microbials,LLC

    September 30, 2013

    Cary, NC, and Kentland, IN - Verdesian Life Sciences, LLC ("Verdesian"), a Paine & Partners, LLC ("Paine & Partners") company, today announced that it has acquired INTX Microbials, LLC, ("INTX") a world-class provider of inoculant, seed treatment, and biological growth enhancement products. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

    INTX's innovative products are used in agricultural crops including soybeans, pulse and forage crops, specialty crops and cereals. INTX's inoculant, seed treatment, and biological growth enhancement products, which include both conventional as well as OMRI-certified products, align well with Verdesian's portfolio of plant health, biological and nutrition offerings. With manufacturing capabilities in Kentland, IN, and Wichita, KS, INTX has a strong track record of producing high quality product solutions for its customers.

    "We are pleased with the acquisition of INTX, which further builds out Verdesian's leading portfolio of plant health and nutrition products and is a key step in our long-term growth strategy," said JJ Grow, Verdesian Chief Executive Officer. "The addition of INTX allows us to offer our customers a broader range of solutions by giving them access to a full line of technology-driven seed treatment and inoculant products. INTX has a reputation for high quality products and very high standards of service. We look forward to working with the INTX team to deliver significant value to our customers."

    "We are excited to become part of Verdesian Life Sciences, which has the resources and experience to enhance our ability to grow," said INTX founder Michael Blanding. "Joining forces with Verdesian will enable us to continue developing innovative products to meet our customers' changing needs. We are confident that the Verdesian platform will help expand our specialized business, drive sales growth and enhance our marketing capabilities."

    INTX will operate independently as a subsidiary of Verdesian for the remainder of 2013 and will transition into Verdesian in 2014.

    About INTX Microbials

    Founded in 2002 by Mike Blanding and Curtis Jennings, Kentland, Indiana-based INTX Microbials, LLC specializes in the research, production, and marketing of seed inoculants, biological growth enhancement products, and water conditioning adjuvants. INTX is a world-class leader in the evolving market of seed enhancement products, producing the latest technologies available and giving the customer a competitive edge in the marketplace.

    Verdesian Hires New Vice President, Product & Technology Development

    June 4, 2013

    Cary, NC - Ryan Bond joins Verdesian Life Sciences, as Vice President, Product & Technology Development. In this new position, Bond will manage all aspects of the product development process which includes working with the university and scientific community to identify technologies, prioritizing our strong pipeline of impending technology, and overseeing efficacy protocols and field trials.

    He comes to Verdesian from BASF Corporation, where he has worked in product and marketing management since 2009. Prior to that, he spent several years in marketing with Loveland Products, Inc./Crop Production Services and has worked in distribution sales.

    "Ryan brings a varied and diverse background to Verdesian Life Sciences," said JJ Grow, Chief Executive Officer. "He has a strong background in both technology and marketing and a proven track record. We look forward to seeing the impact he makes helping Verdesian expand our product and technology platform."

    Bond has an MBA from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and a Ph.D. in soil science from North Carolina State University. He obtained a master's in crop and soil environmental science and bachelor's in agronomy from Clemson University.

    King Joins Verdesian as Vice President, Operations

    May 30, 2013

    Cary, NC - Verdesian Life Sciences, has hired Michael King as Vice President, Operations. He will be responsible for Verdesian's business operations with respect to 3 function disciplines; manufacturing, procurement and supply chain including customer service and logistics.

    "We're pleased to welcome Mike to Verdesian," said JJ Grow, Chief Executive Officer of Verdesian Life Sciences. "Mike's initiative and strong operations experience in the agricultural chemical industry gives Verdesian an opportunity to continue to implement a best-in-class manufacturing network while improving supply chain and procurement efficiencies."

    King brings more than 20 years' of experience to the business. For the last four years, he was Operations Manager with Makhteshim Again of North America. Prior to that, he spent almost 20 years working in various positions in operations for FMC Corporation, serving as Scheduler, Planner, Assistant Plant Manager and Plant Manager.

    King has a bachelor's of science degree in business management from Jacksonville University. He is certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) through the Association for Operations Management and is a Lean 5S facilitator.

    Verdesian Life Sciences Acquires Plant Syence Ltd

    April 17, 2013

    Cary, NC, US and Howden, East Yorkshire, UK - Verdesian Life Sciences ("Verdesian"), a Paine & Partners, LLC ("Paine & Partners") company, today announced that it has acquired all of the assets of Plant Syence Ltd and its affiliates ("Plant Syence"). Plant Syence is an East Yorkshire-based company which has served as a manufacturer's representative for Verdesian in the United Kingdom and continental Europe for the last 11 years. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

    "Verdesian is committed to product development and enhancing our portfolio through acquisition of companies and technologies. The acquisition of Plant Syence is an important step in Verdesian's growth strategy," said JJ Grow, Chief Executive Officer of Verdesian Life Sciences. "We have had a successful and long-term relationship with Plant Syence. They've developed strong local relationships and have offered keen insight into local markets that has led to the continued development of Verdesian products. We welcome Plant Syence to the Verdesian family and look forward to creating a global plant health company together."

    "We firmly believe that this development will benefit the company and our customers," said John Haywood, CEO Plant Syence. "Increased investment from our new parent company will allow us to be more responsive to the needs of our customers and provide more support to those using our products. Our team will remain the same, as will the quality of our products, and with this extra support we plan to develop more innovative products."

    Plant Syence will immediately begin conducting business as Verdesian Life Sciences Europe, Ltd. Haywood will assume the Managing Director position of Verdesian Life Science Europe and will report to JJ Grow.

    Verdesian Life Sciences Acquires Northwest Agricultural Products

    February 27, 2013

    Cary, NC and Pasco, WA - Verdesian Life Sciences ("Verdesian"), a Paine & Partners, LLC ("Paine & Partners") company, today announced that it has acquired Northwest Agricultural Products, Inc. ("NAP"), a world-class provider of specialty agricultural products. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

    NAP specializes in eco-friendly products designed to meet the diverse needs of the agricultural community through advanced chemical and biological innovation, with a focus on enhanced plant health, optimized crop yields and overall quality. The company's strong portfolio of products is highlighted by Sterics®, which enhance the absorption of phosphorous, and PolyAmines, which deliver essential micronutrients. It also produces biostimulants and biopesticides, with its Intracept and Bloomtime FD product lines. NAP's technical strengths include plant pathology and physiology, advanced fermentation, bioprocess development and chemical, biochemical and environmental engineering. As a subsidiary of Verdesian, NAP will continue to operate independently out of Pasco, WA, through the 2013 season.

    JJ Grow, Chief Executive Officer of Verdesian Life Sciences, said, "We are excited about our transaction with NAP, which is an important next step in Verdesian's growth strategy. The acquisition of NAP underscores Verdesian's strategic focus on plant technologies that enhance the uptake of key nutrients using multiple modes of action as well as aligning plant health nutritional technologies with agronomic practices. NAP's differentiated products - its bioscience lines, in particular - are highly complementary to Biagro Western's, which Verdesian acquired in 2012. NAP has built a strong position in its markets, and Verdesian will leverage its international platform to expand NAP's customer base to take it to a new level of growth. We look forward to working with NAP's employees and we welcome them to the Verdesian family."

    David Bergevin, President and Chief Executive Officer of NAP, said, "We are excited to team up with Verdesian - a strong platform that offers the experience and resources necessary to help a highly specialized company like NAP to grow and develop. We are confident that NAP can use the Verdesian platform to expand its business and energize its sales and marketing capabilities so that its products can enhance plant health and nutrition in markets where they are needed most."

    Verdesian focuses on investments in plant health and nutrition and was established in September 2012 by Paine & Partners, a global private equity investment firm that specializes in the food and agribusiness industry globally. Verdesian acquired Biagro Western Sales, LLC, a leader in protected technologies for developing plant health and plant nutrition products, in September 2012.

    About Northwest Agricultural Products, Inc.

    Established in 1989 by David Bergevin in Pasco, WA, Northwest Agricultural Products, Inc. is a world-class provider of specialty agricultural products. The eco-friendly products are designed to meet the diverse needs of the agricultural community through advanced chemical and biological innovation, with a focus on enhanced plant health, optimized crop yields and overall quality. Its strong portfolio of products is highlighted by Sterics® and PolyAmines. Northwest Agricultural Products also produces biostimulants and biopesticides, with its Intracept and Bloomtime FD product lines. The Company's technical strengths include plant pathology and physiology, advanced fermentation, bioprocess development and chemical, biochemical and environmental engineering.

    Verdesian Life Sciences Taps Francis X. Pirozzi as CFO

    February 11, 2013

    Cary, North Carolina - Verdesian Life Sciences announces Francis X. Pirozzi, CPA, will be CFO for Verdesian Life Sciences effective immediately. With a proven track record in start-up enterprises as well as established firms, Pirozzi brings an excellent set of financial skills to help lead Verdesian.

    His experience includes dealings with global mergers, acquisitions and risk management for diverse agricultural and consumer companies as well as financial providers. Most recently, Pirozzi was director and assistant treasurer of Red Hat, Inc. where he managed a global $1.3 billion portfolio of financial investments and risk management for an enterprise that grew revenue from $600 million to over $1 billion within a 4-year span.

    Prior to his financial oversight at Red Hat, Pirozzi was Vice President of Finance for Etigra in Cary, NC. He has also served in various managerial positions in North Carolina-based businesses including R.H. Donnelley, TIMCO Aviation Services, Inc., Jefferson Pilot Financial and Remington Arms Company.

    Pirozzi's global financial experience was a key factor in management's decision to recruit him for his current role at Verdesian Life Sciences, according to JJ Grow, Chief Executive Officer. "We are working to broaden our global portfolio and refine our technologies to build a successful, vibrant company domestically as well as abroad," Grow says. "Pirozzi has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in these key areas critical to attaining our goal. We feel he will be an essential asset to our management team as we move forward."

    Verdesian Life Sciences Adds Greg Thompson as Chief Sales & Marketing Officer

    October 29, 2012

    Cary, North Carolina - Verdesian Life Sciences announces the addition of Greg Thompson as Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, effective immediately

    Greg will be responsible for driving sales in key U.S. markets as Verdesian begins to roll out its strategy to be a leader in the plant health and nutrition segment.

    Thompson most recently held the position of Executive Vice President - Sales & Marketing at Nufarm. While in this role, he was instrumental in driving growth and diversification. Greg excelled at increasing profits in the Agriculture and Specialty business as he supervised a national team of sales and marketing account managers.

    Greg will be reporting to Chief Executive Officer, J.J. Grow, with whom he already has a history. Grow and Thompson worked closely at Etigra where Greg spent several years as Director Of National Accounts. There he was responsible for sales and marketing in the Vegetation Management and Turf & Ornamental segments.

    "Greg is recognized as a top industry sales and marketing leader and I am excited to have him on our team. He joins Verdesian with a very strong background in building world class sales teams. We're looking forward to his contributions," says Grow. "His background and leadership experience will be critical in all phases of Verdesian's evolution."

    Thompson says, "I'm excited to have the opportunity to be involved in something substantial from the early stages. It's an opportunity to reinvest my past experiences to help build a business through acquisition and organic growth. It will also be interesting to move into a new agricultural and turf segment that I haven't been a part of before."

    Prior to his service at Nufarm and Etigra, Greg had a progressive career of nearly ten years at BASF where he held multiple positions. The latest of those was Regional Manager of Turf & Ornamental where he was instrumental in developing and implementing strategic planning, channel strategy and communications as well as other major aspects of the business.

    Paine & Partners Establishes Verdesian Life Sciences as Investment Platform; Announces Acquisition of Biagro Western as First Investment For New Platform

    September 10, 2012

    New York, NY, Chicago, IL, San Francisco, CA - Paine & Partners, LLC ("Paine & Partners"), a global private equity investment firm, today announced the establishment of a new investment platform called Verdesian Life Sciences ("Verdesian"), which will focus on investments in plant health and nutrition.

    In addition, Paine & Partners today announced that, as the first investment for that platform, Verdesian has acquired Biagro Western Sales, LLC ("Biagro Western"), which focuses on protected technologies used to develop plant health and plant nutrition products in agricultural markets globally. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

    With the acquisition of Biagro Western, Verdesian will become a leader in the plant health and plant nutrition market. As a subsidiary of Verdesian, Biagro Western will continue to provide customers with innovative solutions that specialize in plant nutrition, phosphite fertilizers, plant protectants and seed treatments, under the Biagro Western name. JJ Grow will serve as Chief Executive Officer of Verdesian.