Tomen Agro has changed its corporate name to Arvesta Corp.

The San Francisco, Calif., based company is positioning itself as a “viable alternative to the large multi-national crop protection companies,” according to Dennis K. Krass, Arvesta's president.

“Due to our size, we can focus on the development and marketing of products that may not meet the hurdle rates of the larger multi-national companies. In addition, since we are not involved in ‘discovery-based’ research, our growth strategy will be focused on the purchase or licensing of strategic third-party products, giving us greater flexibility in bringing new products to market.”

Among the well-known products marketed by Arvesta are Captan, Elevate, Decree and Endorse fungicides; Select herbicide; Monitor and Orthene insecticides and chloropicrin soil fumigant.

The company also has several other products in various stages of development, including a methyl bromide replacement named Midas (Iodomethane) for soil fumigation.

As an alternative to methyl bromide, Krass said Midas has been given “No. 1” priority by the Environmental Protection Agency. Krass hopes Arvesta will receive federal registration by 2003.

Midas is similar in efficacy to methyl bromide, according to Krass. He added that there is no residue 21 days after use.

In addition to Midas, Krass said Arvesta also has submitted for registration a broad-spectrum systemic neonicotinoid insecticide and an “advanced” miticide for use on fruits and ornamentals called Piton.

The company recently was licensed to market a broad-spectrum herbicide for use on corn and sugarcane. It is named Amicarbazone. Designed as an atrazine replacement, the new herbicide has been submitted to EPA for registration. It was recently registered for use in Brazil.

In development are a systemic bactericide/fungicide (Kasugamycin) for rice and vegetables; a pre-mix of Elevate and Captan and a post-emergence broadleaf herbicide for cereals and corn.

Arvesta currently employs about 150 people worldwide with 63 based in San Francisco. Arvesta is an operating unit of Arysta LifeScience Corp., a company with roots in agrochemicals, human pharmaceuticals, veterinary medicines and biotechnology. With headquarters in Tokyo, Arysta employs more than 1,500.