For information about the BASF acquisition of Becker Underwood, please visit our News page.
Becker Underwood is the global leader in the development and commercialization of yield-improving and value-creating seed-applied biological products for the agricultural sector. Becker Underwood’s core competency is the rapid commercialization of breakthrough R&D. The culture of practical, demand-led innovation that pervades the company is supported by expertise in the discovery of new products, the development of efficient and effective manufacturing processes and know-how in biological formulations that have been developed over the company’s 30-year history.
The global population continues to grow at a robust pace. According to United Nations estimates, there are 7 billion people in the world today, a figure that is expected to exceed 8 billion by 2025. In addition to population expansion, income growth, particularly in Asia and emerging markets, is creating a new middle class that seeks a diet with more animal protein, which requires significantly increased crop production to support herds. Growing demand for all food, fiber, and feed crops will continue into the foreseeable future.
Technologies that increase yield are in high demand. With rising crop demand, commodity prices, and limited land (some of which is now used for biofuels), growers are seeking and willing to pay for tools that maximize their yield. This is where Becker Underwood has focused its efforts in the last six years, using insights and data gained over decades.
Leading technology, proven products, and relationships with leading seed and crop-protection companies, distributors, retailers, and growers have helped to drive the company’s history of uninterrupted growth.
Becker Underwood has grown into a multinational company with fourteen locations in five continents. Despite its growth, however, the company’s fundamental philosophy has not changed – to supply high quality products that create value for its customers. Its products can be found in over 70 countries. While the company has many products and services, it operates in seven primary product families: BioStacked Technology, Inoculants, Seed Coatings, Biological Crop Protection, Turf and Horticulture, Livestock Management Products, and Landscape Colorants and Coatings.
History and Evolution of Becker Underwood
Becker Underwood was founded in 1982 in Ames, Iowa with a single product, Spray Tracer, a specialty spray marking dye for the agricultural market. Between 1984 and 2000, Becker Underwood rapidly expanded through new product introductions and small acquisitions, predominantly in the Turf, Horticulture, Colorants and Spray Pattern Indicator markets.
In 2000, Becker Underwood acquired MicroBio Group, a leading UK-based provider of inoculants, nematodes, biological seed treatments, and biopesticides with presence in Canada, the US, the UK, mainland Europe and Latin America. The acquisition of MicroBio provided Becker Underwood a large R&D staff of agricultural biologists and introduced biologicals into its product mix, and as such, was a transformational event for the company. Between 2000 and 2004, Becker Underwood acquired several more inoculant and biopesticide producers and began its path towards becoming the global leader in seed-applied biological plant health products.
In 2004, Norwest Equity Partners (“NEP”) purchased a majority stake. Under NEP’s ownership, Becker Underwood has integrated the biological theme throughout its product range.