Agrium Inc. is a major retail supplier of agricultural products and services in North America, South America and Australia and a wholesale producer and marketer of all three major agricultural nutrients and a supplier of specialty fertilizers in North America.
Agrium was founded as Cominco Fertilizers, Limited (short for Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company Limited ) in 1931 and changed its name to Agrium, Incorporated in 1995. Agrium is headquartered in Calgary, Canada. Crop Production Services, Inc., a subsidiary company, is based in Loveland, Colorado and is the location of Agrium's Retail Business Unit head office. The company is a part-owner of Canpotex, which manages all potash exporting from Saskatchewan.
Agrium operates close to 1,500 retail agricultural centres in the U.S., Canada, South America and Australia under the brand names Crop Production Services (CPS), Crop Production Services Canada (CPSC), Agroservicios Pampeanos S.A. and Landmark. Crop Production Services was acquired in 1994.
On December 3, 2010 Agrium announced the completion of the acquisition of the Australian Wheat Board for a total acquisition price of $1.236-billion Australian dollars. This acquisition additions to the retail division of Agrium. Roughly 40% of the AWB holdings were sold to Cargill including the Commodity Management Business.
In October 2013, Agrium announced the acquisition of Viterra’s Canadian retail assets, after previously acquiring Viterra retail locations in Australia.
The Wholesale segment produces nitrogen, phosphate, potash and sulphur-based fertilizers. This segment also owns and operates a potash mine and production facility at Vanscoy No. 345, Saskatchewan, Canada, and a phosphate mine in Conda, Idaho, US.
The Wholesale segment engages in the ownership of nitrogen-based fertilizer plants in Bahía Blanca, Argentina and in Damietta, Egypt.
In 2006 the U.S. EPA fined Agrium US$750,000 for violations of the Clean Air Act. Unpermitted modifications to the Ohio nitrogen products plant resulted in excessive releases of NOx. The US EPA report states that these nitrogen oxides "cause severe respiratory problems, contribute to childhood asthma, acid rain, climate change, smog and haze, and impairs visibility in national parks. Emissions from nitric acid plants can be carried significant distances downwind, causing air quality problems..." The plant in question was acquired in October 2006 during the takeover of Royster Clark.
In 2003 Agrium was issued an administrative compliance order for excessive emissions at a Kennewick, Washington plant. Agrium discovered the violations at the Kennewick facility through a comprehensive Clean Air Act audit of the facility in late 2000. Agrium promptly reported the audit findings to EPA under EPA’s policy on Incentives for Self-Policing, also referred to as the "Self-Disclosure Policy". In 2005 Agrium was fined for failure to disclose release of toxic gases at this same plant.
An Agrium ammonia/urea plant is listed by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation as a contaminated site due to spillage of ammonia, arsenic, and other contaminants.