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Agrimarketing : American Seed Trade Association
PAST-PRESENT-FUTURE/continued frompage 17 resources it relies upon. Through seed innovation agriculture can help ease its own environmental impact by gettingmore fromeach unit of land,water and energy devoted to crop production. The U.S. seed industry’s research prioritiesmust be focused onmeet- ing demand sustainably.As a cata- lyst to the industry,Monsanto has made a commitment to growing yield sustainably by doubling yields in our core crops of corn, cotton and soybeans by the year 2030 off of a base of 2000.We see tremendous opportunities for newinnovations such as next-generation breeding technologies for soybeans, cotton and corn. The combination of breeding, agronomic practice improvements and biotechnology –— the three pillars of yield –—can maximize yield gain. Strategically breeding plants to create new,more robust and higher yielding seeds that performbetter is at the base of the breeding yield pil- lar.Using precision agriculture; planting at higher densities; provid- ing better plant health and protec- tion through seed treatment and Get Your News on the Go! Type in www.AgriMarketingMobile.com on your wireless device Mobile sponsoredby 1. AgriMarketing News 2. Weather 3. FarmProgress Friday Powered by iNet Solutions Group fungicides, for example; andmaking acresmore productive through bet- ter tillage practice such as conserva- tion tillage represent the agronomic practices yield pillar. Finally,supple- menting breeding advancements by adding beneficial genes to the plant through biotechnology is the third critical pillar in delivering yield today and tomorrow. Agriculture stands at the fore- front of discovering, delivering and yielding results for increasing global demand for food, feed and fiber.And it beginswith seed. FUTURE OF REGIONAL, INDEPENDENT SEED COMPANIES byWayne Unger VP/Forage and Turf Brett Young Seeds 2008 ASTAVP/Canada There has been significant consolida- tion in the seed industry over the last fewyears driven by businesses seek- ing improved efficiencies and by the increased investment required to be competitive in today’smarket. The consolidation in the seed industry over the last fewyears has ledmany to question, justwhat is the future of the regional, indepen- dent seed company? The national and large regional companies certainly do have advan- tages in economies of scale and increased access to technologywhen compared to independent dealers. The strengths of the independent seed company are: a high degree of knowledge and local expertise, strong customer relationships, employee loyalty,ability tomake decisions quickly and a strong entre- preneurial spirit. For independents to remain com- petitive in the future theywill need to increase productivity through investment in IT and employee engagement.An independent after all,will not be able to outspend or out-advertise amulti-national, they must bemore efficient. It is amisconception that invest- ment in IT is only for the big compa- nies. In fact,most CRM,Web site technologies and supply chainman- agement tools are available to busi- nesses of all sizes and are priced 18 AgriMarketing s American Seed Trade Association Supplement appropriately.An independent busi- ness in theMidwest can have access to technology developed in Banga- lore, India, and only pay for the amount of the service that they use. Themost valuable asset of any company is its employees.Asmall independent is in a position to offer a great life/work balance and a high level of independence to its employees. Many times a small company will also be able to develop a higher level of trustwith its employees than a corporate environment. These environmental assets are Unger many of the attributes that younger people coming into thework place value. This is an imperative issue for an independent to be successful in the future. There aremany studies that illus- trate a happy,engaged employee is significantlymore productive than an unsatisfied employee. Because the success of an independent is so reliant on individuals, those individu- alsmust be satisfied, productive and feel there is a long termopportunity with the employer. By focusing on IT and employee developmentwewill see regional independent seed companies be suc- cessful in the future. THE FUTURE OF NORTH AMERICAN AG by Brian Barker Global Business Leader – Corn DowAgroSciences Overmany decades, farmers in NorthAmerica have taken a global leadership position in production agriculture. One reason forNorthAmerican farmers’ ongoing success is their willingness to rapidly adopt new technologies—fromfarmmecha- nization and hybrid seed corn to pre- cision agriculture and biotechnology. Growers in the U.S. and Canada have had the opportunity to take advantage of significant investments
November December 2008