In the last month a lot of new generic herbicides and fungicides have been registered, bringing the number to well over 300. This can become very confusing for both farmers and dealers who struggle to stay abreast of the fancy brand names and what’s in them. No-doubt, some of you might be questioning the need for yet more generic products.
This past month, we have seen the registration of Cheminova’s Bullwhip 240 EC which looks a lot like Horizon 240EC Herbicide. Agracity registered its MPower brands of 2,4-D, MCPA ester, and MCPA amine. And Bayer and Syngenta registered Palliser Foliar Fungicide and Fuse Foliar Fungicide respectively as generic alternatives to Folicur Fungicide. Cheminova registered Cougar 120EC, a Puma look-alike. Finally, Nufarm registered Chaperone Fungicide as an alternative to Classic.
While it might be difficult to keep all these new brands and their treatments straight, the fact that these major companies continue to spend considerable money to register generic alternatives is good news for growers. These companies are not stupid and wouldn’t register these products unless they were still quite profitable for them. In general, the more companies and more products that are fighting for your business, the better. Healthy competition not only drives prices lower, but it also tends to spur innovation and improve service. If these generics are going to be successful in stealing a bit of market share from the market leaders, they will have to offer you a reason to switch. And when they do, often the market leader will sweeten their offers as well to compete against this new competition. In the end, the farmer should come out the winner.
You may not see all these brands available this spring since it takes time and money to establish a distribution network. The fact that they are registered and ready to go though should be enough to sparks some new competition in 2012.