Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said his committee will hold hearings on proposed consolidation in the chemical and seed sectors of agriculture. The Hagstrom Report says his announcement comes at the same time that Bob Young, Chief Economist from the American Farm Bureau Federation, expressed concerns about the three corporate mergers currently being considered. Grassley will hold the hearing on September 20, telling reporters that “if the mergers go through, you’d have a big three instead of a big six.” Grassley is referring to the proposed mergers of Dow and DuPont, the ChemChina plan to buy Syngenta, and the offer by Bayer to buy Monsanto. An article in the Financial Times reported yesterday that Young said, “Any one of the proposed mergers would have been okay, but to have three of them hit at once, it kind of makes one wonder.” Young said he’s concerned about the cost of inputs for farmers. “The obvious concern is would the mergers bring you to a point where they charge more than would otherwise be the case with more competition,” said Young.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.