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Agrimarketing : May 2008 Supplement
“This helps us develop new, elite seeds faster than ever before so that we can deliver higher yields and improved agronomic performance for farmers,” Crosbie says. “These elite seeds will also serve as the foundation to add the latest biotech- nology traits to further protect and preserve those seeds’ yield potential from weeds, insects and other envi- ronmental stresses.” In corn, breeding advances are focused on enhanced yield, disease and insect tolerance, root and stalk strength, and improved kernel quali- ties, such as oil and protein for food, feed and fuel needs. Research involving oilseed crops, such as soy- beans and canola, is aimed at devel- oping varieties that improve yield stability, disease tolerance and oil and protein composition. And in cotton, Monsanto scientists, along with breeders from the com- pany’s Delta and Pine Land southern business unit, are striving to develop added value through yield, fiber qual- ity and environmental tolerance. “We feel we have a tremendous opportunity to expand the Delta and Pine Land platform by incorporating Bollgard II and Roundup Ready Flex in more varieties, and using our breeding and molecular breeding tools to ensure that we have those traits in high-yielding, high-perform- ing varieties for cotton farmers,” says Fraley. INNOVATION THROUGH COLLABORATION Another pathway to bringing innov- ative new products to market is through industry collaboration, as illustrated by SmartStax, which involves the industry’s first eight- gene stack. Similarly, Bayer CropScience LP and Monsanto are working to develop a new fungicide seed treat- ment for corn. The treatment, which is expected to be commercialized in conjunction with the planned launch of SmartStax in 2010, would provide corn farmers with a significant improvement in early-season protec- tion against seedling diseases and insects, according to the company. Monsanto and BASF have teamed up to develop higher-yielding crops that are more tolerant to adverse environmental conditions, such as drought. Over the life of a collabora- tion announced last year, the two companies will dedicate a joint bud- get of potentially $1.5 billion to fund a dedicated pipeline of yield and stress tolerance traits for corn, soy- beans, cotton and canola. “We are very pleased to work with BASF to enhance our ability to identify and commercialize new traits that have the potential to bring substantial value to farmers,” says Fraley. Another promising collaboration involves glufosinate-tolerant traits in Monsanto’s cotton technology pro- grams. The company’s work with glufosinate-tolerant traits paves the way for the development of the industry’s first three-way stack of herbicide-tolerant technologies across its cotton business, including Roundup Ready Flex, dicamba tolerance and glufosinate tolerance. The glufosinate trait is under license from Bayer CropScience and is a fur- ther reflection of the company’s multi-partner stacking strategy. MEETING GLOBAL DEMAND As global grain demand continues to grow, meeting the world’s food, feed, fuel and fiber needs becomes even more important. One solution is for farmers to get more out of every acre through innovation in breeding and biotechnology that contribute to yield gains being made today. “Our focus on yield and stress will help build on those gains in future products,” says Fraley. “By investing in products that deliver value and make a difference on the farm, we’re supporting the future of agriculture and the future of farming.” Editor’s note: Monsanto’s pipeline products are not approved for sale or distribution. Monsanto is not promoting or offering these products for sale. It is a violation of federal law to promote any unregistered use. Information about these products is provided for educational purposes only. Commercialization of products is dependent on multiple factors, including the successful conclusion of the regulatory process. AM 18 AgriMarketing ¦ May 2008 2008 NAMA MARKETER OF THE YEAR /R&D Pipeline continued from page 15