In the latest issue of Farm Journal, we showed part of Monsanto's machinery fleet. The company heads to the field and hits the road with its unique machines.
Monsanto Company uses more than 50 harvesting machines to collect its seed plot data from millions of plots across the U.S. Combines, such as the twin-row New Holland (pictured) can simultaneously harvest two plots. On average, the twin-plot combines can harvest a plot in 10 seconds. The high-tech combines can cost up to $500,000 and are outfitted with state-of-the-art data collection tools.
As for putting the plots in, Monsanto employs custom-designed plot planters. The planters don’t require dumping extra seed, switching row spacing or recalibrating for population changes. The plot protocols are laid out and delivered via a computer and GPS mapping.
The company says it is using the equipment for faster translation of research to commercial products. The more field testing the company has done, the higher the rate of success in finding the unique genotypes it is searching for.
Monsanto's unique Mobile Technology Unit -- a 53' 18-wheeler that can run on biofuels -- is touring the U.S. to showcase the company's innovations. You can view a video of it being built here: