USDA ERS Amber Waves

Proposed changes in top private agricultural chemical and seed research ownership

Mergers and Competition in Seed and Agricultural Chemical Markets April 10, 2017

Under recent merger proposals, the six global firms that dominate private agricultural chemical and seed research and production would be reduced to four. In the most recent edition of Amber Waves, a USDA Economic Research Service site, economic researchers examine possible effects of these changes in seed and ag chemical markets, including on prices and innovation. The “Big Six” — BASF, Bayer, Dow Chemical, DuPont, Monsanto, and Syngenta — emerged in the 1990s and early 2000s, arising from mergers among large chemical, pharmaceutical, and seed companies as well as from their acquisitions of many smaller seed and biotechnology companies.

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