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AT CLOSING NEWS.

Farm Journal Corp., Philadelphia, and Landwirtschaftsverlag GmbH, Muenster, Germany, have announced a joint venture in the United States to publish The Tractor Sourcebook, an authoritative resource on farm tractors. The book, which will be released in November, is the first effort in a global alliance between the two media companies.

The Tractor Sourcebook will contain reviews of major U.S. tractor brands. The publication will include tractor tests conducted by profi, as well as driving impressions, workshop ideas, maintenance and repair and lighter pictorial stories.

The book from Farm Journal will be marketed to U.S. farmers and ranchers through Farm Journal Corp. media properties.

Manfred Neunaber, editor of profi, and Charlene Finck, machinery editor of Farm Journal, will oversee editorial content for the book.

Monsanto, St. Louis, and Aventis CropScience, Lyon, France, have settled two lawsuits involving intellectual property issues regarding cotton transformation and stacking of multiple insect-protection traits in plants. The agreements provide that: Aventis may commercialize in the United States Monsanto's Roundup Ready and Bollgard technologies in Aventis' FiberMax cotton varieties; Aventis licenses Monsanto under its insect-resistance management patents relate to using certain combinations of Bt genes; and Aventis and Monsanto will cross-license each other under existing cotton transformation patents.

The parties also settled the pending lawsuit in Lubbock, Texas, by Dr. Norma Trolinder and Aventis against Monsanto relating to the inventorship of the Agracetus cotton transformation patents by agreeing to add Trolinder as a co-inventor. Aventis becomes a joint owner of those patents.

Aventis has decided to sell its CropSciences division rather than seek a stock market listing, according to staff-management committee sources. Aventis has sent its sale proposal to Monsanto, DuPont, Dow, Bayer and BASF and is confident it will have a buyer in place by the end of June. Leaving the crop science industry and selling off its animal feed division will allow Aventis to concentrate on its core pharmaceutical business following a shift in strategy announced late last year.

Tyson Foods, Springdale, Ark., has called off its $3.2 billion purchase of IBP Inc., Dakota Dunes, S.D. The decision follows IBP's admission that an investigation into its DFG Foods unit uncovered potential manipulation of financial records and product theft, and mismanagement by former unit managers. Tyson and IBP would have created a company with 30 percent of the beef market, 33 percent of the chicken market and 18 percent of the pork market. Analysts have mixed opinions on whether Smithfield Foods, who had been in a bidding war with Tyson, might take another look at the possibility of buying IBP.

Data Transmission Network Corp. and DTN Tradelink, an Internet based e-commerce solution, and TradingProduce.com, San Francisco, Calif., have merged. The combined company will be led by CEO Robert Bonavito, president and CFO John Abkes and chief technical officer Zia Zahiri. The new company has more than 1,500 customers, representing approximately 30 percent of the U.S. retail grocery and food service industry.

DirectAg, St. Paul, Minn., has formed a global alliance with agricultural Web site The Farmshed, Sydney Australia. The effort is part of an ongoing initiative to establish DirectAg and The Farmshed as the premier link between producers and the food chain at both a local and global level. The companies will share technical and marketing innovations to bring new products and services to U.S. and Australian agricultural markets. The companies share a common investor in Rural Press Limited, and both use the editorial services of the company.

Farm Credit Services of America, the region's largest agricultural lender, has broken ground on a new 91,000-square-foot corporate headquarters in Omaha, Neb. The new building will be more functional for new technology and teamwork and more flexible to adapt to the changing needs of the organization. "This new building is a tangible symbol of our commitment to the agricultural community," says Jack Webster, CEO of FCSAmerica. "(This) groundbreaking signifies our long-term devotion to this industry and to our customers and employees." Construction is planned to begin within the next month and expected to finish by September 2002.

DuPont, Wilmington, Del., will further align resources consistent with the specific missions of its individual businesses, reducing its global workforce by about 4 percent. DuPont will also reduce the number of contract personnel by about 1,300 and shut down less-competitive manufacturing assets. In terms of the company's agriculture-related businesses -- Pioneer, Crop Protection and Nutrition & Health -- DuPont will accelerate their integration of R&D, staff and commercial organizations.

Archer Daniels Midland Co., Decatur, Ill., has introduced a new corporate logo, tagline and advertising campaign designed to underscore the company's deep commitment to nature and global agriculture. The new blue-and-green leaf-shaped logo and tagline, "The Nature of What's to Come," is supported by a new television and print advertising campaign.

The new design is the first change to the company's logo since the early 1960s. That logo featured a highly stylized diamond-shaped blue leaf containing four black circles connected by black lines -- a design meant to represent chemical molecules coming from a natural resource. The new logo incorporates elements of the old, including ADM's signature blue diamond, while adding an easily recognizable green leaf to reflect the company's agricultural roots.

Natural pest management developer AgraQuest Inc., Davis, Calif., has entered the organic farming industry after a new formulation of its Serenade biofungicide was registered by the EPA and added to the list of approved crop protection products by the Organic Materials Review Institute. Serenade is based on AgraQuest's patented strain of Bacillus subtilis, a microorganism that is effective against several crop-damaging pathogens, including powdery mildew, walnut blight, Botrytis bunch rot and fire blight. The original wettable powder and the newly registered organic formulation of Serenade are approved for use on vines, fruits, hops, peanuts, vegetables and walnuts. Three new crops -- carrots, broccoli and onions -- have been added to the U.S. EPA label for the organic formulation.

In 2000, BASF, Ludwigshafen, Germany, posted the highest sales and the highest income from operations before special items in its history. Sales climbed by 22 percent, and income from operations before special items rose by more than 15 percent. Important measures in 2000 included acquisitions of superabsorbents manufacturer Chemdal, the vitamins business of Takeda and the crop protection business of American Home Products; the Basell joint venture; and the sale of its pharmaceuticals activities to Abbott.

All operating divisions in 2000 made a positive contribution to income from operations with the exception of Agricultural Products, which is still burdened by the costs of integrating the recently acquired crop protection business. However, the integration process is reportedly running smoothly and is expected to achieve annual cost savings of approximately $250 million, with half the amount being achieved in 2001.
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Title Annotation:agriculture news briefs
Publication:Agri Marketing
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2001
Words:1122
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