Agrochemical company considering move to Lubbock, local farmer explains the benefits

Published: Nov. 7, 2023 at 6:38 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A local farmer is pushing for chemicals used in agriculture to be manufactured in Lubbock instead of overseas. One company is hoping to make the move to the Hub City.

Billy Tiller, the CEO of Grower Freedom Alliance said most pesticides and herbicides are made overseas. He said manufacturing them here has many benefits like cutting out the long distribution process.

“You know the biggest issue for me always came down to you have 7,500 miles from China to Lubbock, that’s a long distribution, that’s a long supply chain,” Tiller said.

The company Vulpes was already looking at setting up shop in the United States. The CEO of Vulpes, Rick Shang, said Lubbock has become his first pick. One reason is the possibility to work directly with farmers.

“We’re really able to offer something extremely competitive directly facing customers, and that’s just incredibly attractive,” Shang said.

Shang hopes Vulpes could get the product out to them quicker. Agrochemical companies overseas must predict how much they need to make a year in advance, which he said can be hard since you don’t know how the crops will hold up. Shang said this way they could do it a few months in advance and know exactly what they need, while making it cheaper for the customer.

“We’re able to make it actually competitive and cheaper here locally,” Shang said.

The CEO of Plains Cotton Growers, Kody Bessent, said this extr4a option would be huge for farmers.

“Certainly, we’re very supportive of competition because of options and opportunities for producers as they develop their trades and agronomic practices for their own operations,” Bessent said.

As for the quality, Shang said farmers can also expect that to be better because there are more regulations the company must follow on American soil compared to overseas.

“We will make things both with a higher quality and a lower impact to the environment,” Shang said.

With the help from Tiller, Shang is thinking Lubbock is the best place for Vulpes. He would set up in the Reese Technology Center. Shang said he signed a letter of intent and is waiting for the pieces to fall together.