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.
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From the Farm

120514 Conservation Tillage pic

Growing Food More Sustainably: Conservation Tillage to the Rescue Featured Article

By Carlos Vicente Alberto
Sustainability Lead, Europe & Middle East

In 1985, during my final project at the School of Agricultural Engineers in Madrid, I embarked on something that may still seem strange to those unfamiliar with agriculture: growing plants without soil. The idea was to design a farm producing chicory using hydroponics, something that my classmates found novel at the time.

Hydroponics research was no gimmick – multiple crops can be grown this way today. But the fact remains: we need high-quality soil to grow the vast majority of our food, and we need to protect and conserve … Full Article »

The Truth About Toxic Wheat Featured Article

By Jenny Dewey Rohrich, Prairie Californian

You may or may not have seen this article from the Healthy Home Economist touting wheat is toxic due to being sprayed with Round up (glyphosate) as a pre-harvest. This article brings up some pretty fear inducing statistics for both farmers and non-farmers. Farming is our life and our passion and when someone spreads fear in regards to our livelihood, it is hard not to take it personal. So we respond in the best way we know how, through our own experiences and how we run our own farms.

Unfortunately, trying to lump all farming … Full Article »

A Proactive Approach Made the Difference in Corn Rootworm Control This Season Featured Article

By John Chambers, Global Corn Technology Lead

Over the summer, I had the opportunity to drive through such states as Iowa and Illinois and admire some tremendous corn fields. Now, as we head into a record setting harvest season, I can’t help but feel proud of how farmers and the agriculture industry overall managed to minimize corn rootworm damage this season, to help maximize this crop’s growth potential.

Over the past several years, farmers, academics, seed companies, and retailers have worked together to identify Best Management Practices (BMPs) to help manage corn rootworm, one of the most devastating pestsFull Article »

9.22.14 Brazilian journalists tour Elliott farm - cropped

Brazilian Journalists Visit with American Farmers Featured Article

In the spirit of sharing more information and fostering discussion with others around the challenges of producing food and the technologies that can help with this challenge, Monsanto Brazil invited reporters from the Brazilian newspapers Valor Econômico and Correio Braziliense, and the TV channel Terra Viva, to meet with farmers in the U.S., attend the Farm Progress show and tour Monsanto’s facilities.

“We want to have conversations about food and an open dialog about our products and the latest technologies that are going to help farmers produce more in a sustainable way. Plus, while farms back in their country … Full Article »

small corn

Safety is priority No. 1 for Monsanto’s seasonal workers Featured Article

By Al Henderson
Seed Site Manager, Grinnell, Iowa

Some people spend their careers in an office.  I’ve spent most of mine in a field.  For the past 30 years, I’ve managed our corn seed production site in Grinnell, Iowa.  That means every summer, I’m out in the field as our crews walk the rows to detassel corn plants.

For those not familiar with hybrid corn, detasseling is a critical step as we work to make the highest quality corn hybrids for our farmers.  It’s as simple as pulling the tassels out of the top of corn plants, and Monsanto typically … Full Article »

farmer-field

Am I 5 or 35? My Tale of Dinosaurs, Drones and Trucks on the Farm Featured Article

By Nick Weber
Digital Communications Team

It was 40°F and windy at 7:09 a.m. when we pulled up the driveway to Martz-Spears Farm in northern Illinois. Dustin Spears was saying good-bye to his wife as she headed to her job. Dustin dashed into the farm shed to grab something as we parked the car. When he reappeared, we made our introductions, but I got the sense he didn’t want to chit-chat; he wanted to get to the field.

So, within two minutes of arriving, I was in the passenger seat of his truck and heading to a 75-acre field about … Full Article »

Farmland Film Review: Opening May 1 Featured Article

By Sean Battles
U.S. Commercial

Farmland, a documentary on “what it’s really like to run a farm,” was released nationally in more than 60 major markets May 1. Last week, I was lucky enough to see an advanced screening at the Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis. I’d like to share with you my personal thoughts on the film, coming from the perspective of a non-farmer and Monsanto employee.

First, I encourage everyone, on both sides of the fence post, to go see Farmland if available in your area. It’s a beautifully shot and produced film, directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker … Full Article »

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Every Day is Earth Day on the Farm Featured Article

By Thomas Durant
South Carolina Farmer

After decades of conventional farm practices of plowing, bedding rows, planting and multiple cultivations, the soil on our South Carolina farm seemed “tired,” and so were we. We recognized there is a need for a delicate balance between forcing the soil to produce an annual crop and empowering the soil’s natural ability to be productive. That’s why our farm decided to look into conservation practices of no-till, cover crops and wildlife management that could improve our soil, our area’s ecosystem, and hopefully, our crops’ productivity.

And with Earth Day approaching, now is a good time to … Full Article »

small corn

A Reflection on 50 Years of Farming Featured Article

By Ken McCauley
Farmer, White Cloud, Kansas

Planting is right around the corner on our farm, and it got me thinking about my love of farming, and in particular, how far farming has progressed. I’ve been planting corn and soybeans for 50 years. I planted my first crop in 1964 with my brother on my mother’s farm. I don’t remember seed being as much of a big deal then as it is now, because most seed produced about the same yield. Earning a living on the farm at that age was a real life lesson. Dad wanted us to learn … Full Article »

BellaFina peppers

Pick a Peck of Peppers Plus Some! Featured Article

When you look at a pepper, what do you think about? What do you see?

I still remember vividly the first meeting I was in where a bowl of bell peppers was passed around and people bit into them like apples! I was still thinking of bell peppers as the kind of things my mom cooked in spaghetti sauce.

Coworkers handed me the red, orange and yellow produce and encouraged me to try it. I wasn’t sure I wanted to bite that off, but then I looked around and several others were doing it. Seemed like it was worth a … Full Article »