About “Beyond the Rows”

Beyond the Rows is a Monsanto Company blog focused on one of the world’s most important industries, agriculture. Monsanto employees write about Monsanto’s business, the agriculture industry, and the farmer.
[x] close
2013 FFA Convention Hall

FFA Students Looking Forward to Learning Leadership Skills, Meeting New People Featured Article

By Nick Weber
Corporate Web Team

When National FFA Convention rolls around, many chapters travel through St. Louis on their way to the host city. Monsanto opens its doors at our two campuses and hosts the chapters for tours. On Tuesday, on their way to the convention in Louisville, Ky., chapters from Kansas and Colorado visited, and we asked them, “What are you looking forward to most at National FFA Convention?”

Here are their responses:

“This will be my third year going. In the past, I have had the opportunity to meet many mentors from across the U.S. I have … Full Article »

An Update on Roundup Ready Patent Expiration

Recent articles (see here, here and here) have discussed patent expiration for Roundup Ready® soybeans. In light of these articles and ongoing interest in the subject, the timing seems right to remind readers of our post-patent plans.

The last Monsanto-owned patent for Roundup Ready soybeans will expire in 2014, and the last applicable third-party patent will expire in early 2015. That means independent seed companies will no longer owe trait royalty payment to Monsanto beginning in 2015. Farmers will have access to a generic trait offering beginning in the 2015 planting season.

Monsanto has had numerous discussions … Full Article »

Michael Marlow Monsanto Agonomist

Monsanto Agronomist Helps Farmers 140 Characters at a Time

As an agronomist, Monsanto’s Michael Marlow has to be on top of the field conditions in his territory, which includes most of Oklahoma and northern and eastern Texas. It’s in his best interest—and his customers’ best interests—to know when plant diseases are popping up, when bugs are starting to move into fields and when weather is impacting crops.

But he can’t deliver those tidbits of information to everyone on a personal basis every day. That’s why he uses Twitter—a social media outlet that allows people to share thoughts in 140 characters—as one of his communication tools to update farmers … Full Article »

Researchers from Monsanto's Chesterfield Village site come out to Jerseyville to observe new traits and technologies growing outside.

Research Is More Than Spending Time in a Lab

From the road, the Jerseyville research farm looks like any other Southwest Illinois farm: corn and soybeans dominate the landscape and a couple sheds rise above the green. Once I entered the center of the 240-acre site, I discovered how special the farm is—where nearly every row of plants receives special care.

Jerseyville is one of a handful of sites where biotech traits are tested in the field. Their performance and reaction to the conditions (much more variable than in a controlled setting like a greenhouse) are monitored and tracked throughout the season.

That’s why nearly a dozen researchers from … Full Article »

Detasseling allows one line of corn to fertilize the other, producing a high-yielding hybrid, and prevents the plants from self-pollinating and ruining the hybrid line.

A Quick Lesson in Detasseling

If you’re a farmer or farm kid, you know what detasseling is.

If you’re not, this video courtesy of reporter Mike Brooks at WICS in Springfield, Ill., gives you a good background on detasseling and why seed companies like Monsanto do it.

Detasseling Corn Alive and Well – Fox 55/27 Springfield, ILL

This Twitter search stream gives you a bit more, um, color, about what detasselers are saying this summer.

I was at the corn field while Mike was interviewing Monsanto employees and the workers. The detasseling is quite impressive. I’m not certain I could handle a whole month of … Full Article »

Precision planting! Sean and Pat have nearly the identical form

When It Comes to Planting, Mother Nature Holds the Cards

Precision planting! Sean and Pat have nearly the identical form

Monday began with a rain shower in the St. Louis area. No planting at the Jerseyville farm for the next two days, I thought. After getting settled in at work, I sent an email to the crew at the farm, asking, “Do you think you’ll get in the fields later this week?”

To my surprise, the farm planned on hitting the fields. Research associate Joe Kinser replied immediately, “We caught a shower here this morning, but I think we will plant a few small fields in the 1 to 4 … Full Article »

Video: Excitement for Planting Spans Across Farmers and Researchers

For the 2010 crop season, Monsanto is trying something a little different with its planting and harvest reports. We thought it’d be fun, insightful and worthwhile to follow a few people through the entire year, instead of hopping around the country only at planting and harvest. We hope this approach will allow our online audiences the opportunity to get an intimate look at agriculture through the eyes of our customers and our employees.

I’m happy to say that I get the honor of being a contributor to this coverage. I’ll provide reports on Monsanto’s research farms and what their experiences Full Article »

Flooded Field

Farmers Manage Risks during Flooding

Every nine out of 10 years, Iowa farmer Dave Sieck expects the Missouri River to stay in its banks near his farmland in Glenwood, Iowa, about 15 miles south of Council Bluffs. But lately, it’s been a rough run. This is the third year in a run some Sieck and Midwest farmers are facing the threat of flooding.

“It’s a never-ending battle, especially on the bigger rivers,” he said. “We plan on losing a crop once or twice every 10 years.”

Heavy snow totals in the fall and winter and a quick rise in temperatures this spring are leading … Full Article »

Roundup Ready technology contains in-plant tolerance to Roundup® agricultural herbicides, allowing growers to spray Roundup agricultural herbicides to kill the weeds without harming the crop.

Many factors lead to better weed control for farmers

Roundup Ready technology contains in-plant tolerance to Roundup® agricultural herbicides, allowing growers to spray Roundup agricultural herbicides to kill the weeds without harming the crop.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned by talking with farmers, it’s that they have a great sense and appreciation of their farm’s history. And as a result, they have an even greater sense of how the present state of farming is better than it used to be.

Marvin Borg and Jeffrey Larson are two examples of that. Mention “weeds” and they both have stories that would make suburbanites happy that all they have to tend … Full Article »

How the FFA has Impacted Monsanto Employees

Elizabeth McKillip, daughter of Monsanto employee Brian McKillip, is raising her lamb, Speckles, for an FFA competition later this summer. Elizabeth is a current member of the Muscatine FFA Chapter, and Brian is an alum of the same chapter.

National FFA Week is upon us, and it’s a great time to celebrate the contributions that past members have made and current students are making. At Monsanto, we have hundreds of employees who are FFA alumni. This week, I spoke with four Monsanto employees about their FFA experiences and how the organization has had a lasting impact on their … Full Article »