MIDLAND, MI — The Dow Chemical Co. announced an agreement to acquire Rohm and Haas Co.’s agricultural-chemicals business for approximately $1 billion. The transaction will significantly boost Dow’s position in the rapidly consolidating farm-chemicals industry and reportedly make Dow the world’s No. 6 producer of agricultural chemicals. The companies said they expect to complete the transaction during the second quarter.

Specialty-chemicals and coatings producer Rohm and Haas determined earlier this year that its agricultural-chemical business was no longer large enough to compete in a consolidating industry, according to published reports. The business generated sales last year of $530 million, down from $534 million in 1999, and accounts for less than 8% of the company’s total revenue.