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Agronomy, seed expansions boost GROWMARK sales.

Illinois-based GROWMARK expanded its operating territory and posted improved sales and earnings for fiscal 2003. Speaking at the regional coop's annual meeting in Chicago, Vice President for Finance Jeff Goldberg reported pre-tax earnings of $26 million from sales of $1.7 billion, both up from 2002. Local member cooperatives will share in patronage of $18.3 million.

Chief Executive Officer Don Davisson said the cooperative had a good year, but must continue to improve in areas such as fertilizer management. Davisson is also board chairman of CF Industries, an inter-regional fertilizer manufacturing and distributing cooperative owned by GROWMARK and a number of other regional cooperatives., Davisson said increasing prices of natural gas were driving up costs for making nitrogen fertilizer applied as anhydrous ammonia.

To reach future growth goals, he said, GROWMARK must increase volume and market share and continue offering new products and services. Part of the current gain stems from increased sales and broadening of its seed lines to complement the FS brands. Expanding into the Northeast, via purchasing 40 agronomy outlets and seed assets from Agway, provided a substantial boost in this area.
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Title Annotation:Newsline
Author:Duffey, Patrick
Publication:Rural Cooperatives
Date:Nov 1, 2003
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