Farmers Group Pushes Against AG Mergers

Some 250 members of the National Farmers Union from South Dakota and other states, were in Washington Monday to fight more planned mergers by big AG suppliers.

“We are way beyond what economists consider to be competitive markets,” said Farmers Union President Roger Johnson on KELO Radio’s It’s Your Business Show will Bill Zortman. The union members were directly lobbying members of Congress and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Johnson warned of “far less competition, higher costs for farmers as a result and almost certainly substantially less innovation.” He said that fewer choices for seed and fertilizer will mean higher prices for producers.

Companies have announced a record volume of agriculture-related acquisitions this year. Canada’s two largest fertilizer companies are in merger talks. Other pending deals include a proposed merger between Dow Chemical and DuPont.

Johnson said the National Farmers Union, at least so far, is the only farmers organizations that seems to be talking about the dangers of more big mergers. He pointed out that a lot of big companies are sponsors of various farm organizations and help underwrite annual meetings.


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