May 21, 2020
Helm Agro, ISK to commercially develop 3 new herbicides

Helm Agro US Inc., a global manufacturer of  crop protection and fertilizer products and Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha, Ltd. (ISK), have entered into a long-term collaboration for the commercial development of three novel crop protection herbicides.

Under the initiative, Helm will partner with ISK Biosciences Corp. (ISKBC) of Concord, Ohio, a subsidiary of Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha Ltd. of Osaka, Japan, in the commercial development of the new market offerings beginning in 2020.

Dave Schumacher
Dave Schumacher

“Both companies are excited about the far-reaching potential of these new generation products,” says Dave Schumacher, President of Helm Agro US. “Our strategic alignment with ISK is a significant milestone for us, and one that will enhance our commercial activities and ability to deliver greater value to the market.”

Naoto Tani, Senior Vice President of ISK Biosciences Corporation says, “For ISK Biosciences, this is truly a great opportunity to continue offering solutions to American growers. As a company focused in research and development, we are highly committed to continued innovation with integrity. We are excited as a company to be trusted in bringing new products to the U.S. market.”

The companies plan to launch three new herbicides that target top-of-mind weed control challenges faced by growers across multiple crop segments.

First in the lineup – a new PPO inhibitor herbicide developed from a new ISK molecule for rapid and effective preplant burndown of broadleaf and grass weeds.

A novel active ingredient for the corn, cotton and soybean markets, this new technology receives high performance ratings in controlling a broad spectrum of weeds across a wide variety of crops and geographies, including ALS, triazine and glyphosate-resistant species.

Additional characteristics include an ultra-low use rate, broad tank mix compatibility and expanded use as a desiccant for cotton.

Classified as a Group 14 herbicide, the product will be formulated as a suspension concentrate with EPA registration expected in 2020.

Second on the list – a non-selective burndown herbicide for specialty crops featuring a new active ingredient from the ISK development pipeline. Grapes will be the first high-value crop to garner access to the technology for broad spectrum control of grass and broadleaf weeds, including many resistant to other herbicide classes.

EPA and state registrations for the new herbicide are anticipated for later this year. Further registrations for citrus, pulse crops and tree nuts are expected in 2022. To accommodate grower preference, the product will be developed in a water dispersible granular (WDG) formulation.

The third product forthcoming – a co-formulation of the active ingredients tolpyralate and nicosulfuron for selective post-emergence broadleaf and grass control in field corn and seed corn.

Product highlights include a low use rate, superior crop safety features and a wide application window. 

“The industry is on the brink of a new era of innovation,” says Schumacher. “We believe these three products will significantly work in growers’ favor to overcome many of today’s most serious weed control challenges.”

With a new strategy in place, Schumacher says his company is on course for rapid growth over the next several years.

“Combining ISK’s research strengths with Helm’s product development and marketing expertise is an incredibly strong formula for success. Helm is transforming itself to be laser-focused on the customer while sharpening its portfolio with cutting-edge technologies that improve on-farm productivity and profitability. We’re excited about the future and our plans for customer success in the adoption of this new technology.” 

Helm Agro US, Inc., located in Tampa, Florida, was founded in 2003. Its parent company, Helm AG, is a multi-billion-dollar family-owned business with a history spanning 120 years. Today, Helm AG is one of the world’s major independent chemical marketing enterprises with more than 100 subsidiaries in over 30 countries. Helm is committed to providing high quality crop protection solutions through innovative chemistries, convenient formulations and uncompromising customer service. This includes high standards in registrations, efficacy of products and customer engagement. For more information visit 

Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha, Ltd. (ISK) is a leading global chemical company headquartered in Osaka, Japan. ISK has a fully integrated agricultural chemicals business with research and development, marketing, registration, and product operations. ISK is represented in the Americas through its wholly owned subsidiary, ISK Biosciences Corporation (ISKBC). With headquarters in Concord, OH, ISKBC has primary responsibility for development, registration, and logistics for ISK’s products in the Americas. For additional information concerning ISK Biosciences, visit

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