During the past year, a series of Farm Journal Media polls have proven farmers are strikingly consistent in their resistance to industry consolidation.
So pollsters weren’t very surprised to see the latest data come in regarding farmer favorability of Bayer’s plans to acquire Monsanto. Of the 2,632 responses, 67% said the move was negative, with only 10% indicating it was positive. The jury was out for another 18% of respondents, with the last 5% conceding they didn’t know.
According to Bayer spokesperson Darren Wallis, farmers are customers whose business is earned every year based on the value the company can deliver to their operations. That strategy won’t change moving forward, he says.
“Both companies have attractive, complementary pipelines to address key challenges in a new way,” he says. “We believe growers will benefit from a broad set of solutions to meet their current and future needs, including enhanced solutions in seeds, traits, digital agriculture and crop protection. These are expected to result in significant and lasting benefits for farmers – from improved sourcing and increased convenience to higher yield, better environmental protection and sustainability.”
The latest poll's results are in line with prior announcements of mergers and acquisitions within the agriculture industry. For example, of the 1,644 farmers polled in February 2016, more than 80% had a negative or very negative opinion of ChemChina acquiring Syngenta. A proposed Monsanto and Syngenta merger in June 2015 received similar opposition, as did the news that John Deere would acquire Precision Planting in November 2015.
Want to know what else is on farmers’ minds? Tap into dozens of Pulse poll results at www.agweb.com/farmjournal/farm-journal-pulse/. Every two weeks, the Farm Journal Pulse polls farmers and ranchers for their straight-from-the-farm opinions and crop progress updates. Farmers and ranchers also share unique insights and photos on AgWeb’s Crop Comments – visit www.agweb.com/agweb-crop-comments/ for details.