Seed World

Meristem Gears Up to Help American Farmers Compete

Improved crop performance, high-quality inputs, and cost-cutting are the key drivers behind Meristem Crop Performance Group, LLC, a new start-up officially launched here today by crop input channel veterans Mitch Eviston and Rob McClelland, principals of the new company.

After a year of pilot-testing on more than a half-million acres with hundreds of corn belt growers, Meristem Crop Performance is ramping up to provide their unique high-quality, no-frills approach to select American farmers.

“Top farm businesses clearly understand the need to reduce costs if they are to successfully compete in today’s global grain trade,” says Eviston, Meristem founder and former senior vice president of WinField with 30 years of experience in every aspect of the crop input distribution business. “We’ve set up Meristem to be the lean provider of high-quality crop input additives to help these global players cut costs and increase yields.”

Company leaders also revealed the new Meristem Board of Advisors, an all-star team of players with wide experience in a variety of disciplines within food and agriculture. Led by proven agribusiness leader, Rod Schroeder, the Meristem Board of Advisors will endeavor to deliver even more value to top growers. Eviston says nearly 200 such growers have already experienced the Meristem advantage.

“We are building the most efficient, direct-to-farm system which allows us to provide high-quality products that can save farmers up to 30% compared to conventional suppliers,” he says, “and we’ve spent the past crop season working with top farmers to better understand exactly what they need.”

Eviston is quick to admit, though, that Meristem won’t work for everyone.

“We’re laser-focused on serving large-scale growers who have their own spray rigs, on-farm storage, and infrastructure to support timely, effective application,” he says.

Meristem’s initial product portfolio includes crop input additives widely used by corn, soybean, wheat, sugar beet, cotton, and potato growers. The list includes seed treatments under the brand RACEREADY, REVLINE plant growth regulators, TRUTRACK drift control, AQUADRAFT water conditioners and surfactants and HOMESTRETCH nitrogen stabilizers, micronutrients, and foliar nutritionals. BLUE DEF diesel exhaust fluid rounds out the current offering.

It’s About the Economics

“This is just math,” says Rob McClelland, past president of Farm Journal Performance Marketing and co-founder and past CEO of FLM Harvest. McClelland, an economist by training, explains that this kind of streamlining is long overdue.

“If we truly desire to help American farmers compete globally, we have to cut the fat from our distribution system,” he says. Meristem, says McClelland, will connect top farmers directly with manufacturers to collapse a multi-step, distribution channel.

“We’ve learned from growers that e-commerce is not necessarily bringing the savings and ease of use they expected,” says McClelland. “Savings come from tightening up logistics, not necessarily writing new software and over-promising on data solutions.”