For over 80 years, Miller Chemical and Fertilizer has been manufacturing and distributing crop protection and nutritional agrochemical products designed to improve plant and crop production quality and yield.
“We play largely in the specialty agricultural space and primarily focus [on] tree nuts, fruits, and vegetables globally,” said Karan Bansal, global marketing director of the company. “We sell in approximately 80 countries, with a large portion of our business in the US.”
Karan Bansal, Global Marketing Director, Miller Chemical and Fertilizer
At one time, Miller Chemical was a very large regional manufacturer of farm fertilizer and agrochemicals, though the company worked very closely with growers and believed in sustainability and reduction of pesticide use long before it was something that was even discussed in the industry.
“Growers trust our expertise, and if we don’t have the right product, we’ll tell them,” Bansal said. “We don’t churn out 20 products a year just to sell products. There’s a value-add difference with what we generate, and we don’t rush products to the marketplace. Their farms will be there for generations and that’s most important to us. The 2-acre grower is just as important to Miller as the 2,000-acre grower, and the company’s philosophy stems from being a leader in product formulations.”
The company works with different organic certifiers around the world to ensure its products are accepted globally and can deliver what is promised to its worldwide customers.
“We don’t churn out 20 products a year just to sell products. There’s a value-add difference with what we generate, and we don’t rush products to the marketplace.” -Karan Bansal
Michael Fiery, vice president of international sales and product development for Miller, explained how the company developed a terpene polymer and built various products to apply with traditional pesticides to help growing operations become more sustainable.
Michael Fiery, Vice President International Sales and Product Development, Miller Chemical and Fertilizer
“This was before organic was even a concept,” he said. “Our products helped to reduce pesticide use, and we received pushback from those suppliers, but it was deeply rooted in Miller’s culture. We grew up working directly with growers, and their best interests were first and foremost in our mind.”
Today, that terpene polymer is known as Nu-Film P, and it’s a superior spreader-sticker adjuvant with non-ionic properties designed to improve the contact, wetting, and adhesion of pesticides onto the plant surface.
“This brand is what we are most recognized for,” Fiery said. “It’s an organic-based compliant adjuvant that can be used in combination with other organic-based biologicals to enhance activity of any biological-approved material that might be applied. The past two years, we have been promoting the bee-safety aspect of our adjuvant, and that’s something we are very proud of.”
“Our products helped to reduce pesticide use, and we received pushback from those suppliers, but it was deeply rooted in Miller’s culture. We grew up working directly with growers, and their best interests were first and foremost in our mind.” -Michael Fiery
Miller Chemical has conducted several studies to better understand bee learning disorders in order to ensure its adjuvant product (Nu-Film P) are safe for the species.
Miller Chemical’s other important organic products include Borreplex OA, a carbon-rich acid-based soil conditioner that reduces bicarbonates and sodium levels, improves water penetration and soil permeability, and modifies alkalinity in irrigation water; CITOLEAF, an organic-compliant natural-sea-plant-extract fertilizer that is fortified with a proprietary yeast extract; and BioVive, a unique balanced-profile blend of vegetable-derived amino acids designed to improve root development and crop protection through the season.
The company also manufactures Sustain, a deposition adjuvant with non-ionic properties designed to improve the contact, wetting, and adhesion of pesticides on soil and plant surfaces, and C.F.O., a proprietary blend of organic acids that sequesters and releases soil-bound nutrients while leaching sodium away from the root rhizosphere.
“Our mindset is that we could make 60 more organic products tomorrow, but when we set out to make organic-compliant materials, we want them to be unique,” Fiery said. “We are not chasing the rest of the market. We want to do what’s best for the growers.”
Until this year, Miller Chemical had not emphasized marketing, but rather relied on word of mouth and its excellent reputation for attracting business. But as the company grows and organics become more mainstream, it’s looking at 2021 as somewhat of a rebirth opportunity.
“We are excited about building a better awareness of who we are and what we stand for,” Fiery said. “We want to engage more with growers at every turn. Growers know us, trust us, and like working with our people and products. Within our organic group, we want them to understand we truly want to be a problem solver for them."