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U.S. Seeds, Traits Drive Monsanto’s Sales Momentum

January 13, 2013
By: Rhonda Brooks, Farm Journal Seeds & Production Editor

Monsanto reports it will launch a major new technology in the agricultural marketplace every year through the end of this decade.

Earlier this week the Monsanto Company announced it is advancing a record number of projects, 18 total, in its research and development platforms going into 2013, according to Rob Fraley, executive vice president and chief technology officer for the company.

"We are positioned to launch a major new technology effectively every year through the end of this decade," Fraley reported during Monsanto's annual research and development update Web conference.

This year the company is formally launching its DroughtGard technology in corn. Fraley says the initial opportunity for this product line is focused in the western Corn Belt, on the approximately 10 million crop acres that extend from the Dakotas to Kansas where dry conditions are expected most years.

"This provides an important validation point as along with BASF we’re launching the first product out of our yield and stress collaboration," Fraley says.

He notes that Monsanto will continue to leverage its work with BASF to discover and advance more leads to address yield-limiting factors.

"We’ve also seen promising results in corn, stacking multiple yield genes into a combined package," Fraley says. "I think this multi-gene approach to increasing yields is likely to become more prominent in the corn and soybean pipelines of the future."

He says companies that are successful in the next decade will need to have more than one or two component technologies to remain competitive in the competitive agricultural marketplace.

"Leaders will bring together multiple technologies in the seed, the plant and in the field," he says.

Pre-launch phase. For 2013, Monsanto has three projects in its on-farm testing program. Called Ground Breakers, the program involves a group of select farmers who provide on-farm testing of the company’s products to help set the stage for successful commercial introductions.

The three projects in on-farm testing include Intacta RR2 Pro soybeans in Brazil. In the United States farmers will test FieldScripts, which is part of the company’s new Integrated Farming Systems (IFS) program, and the Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybean trait platform.

Fraley says Roundup Ready 2 Xtend provides dicamba tolerance on top of the company’s Roundup Ready 2 Yield platform.

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RELATED TOPICS: Technology, Agronomy, Crops, Seed



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