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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Using sensory science to breed better produce Featured Article

By Chow-Ming Lee, Ph.D.
Global Consumer Sensory Lead – Monsanto Vegetable Seeds Division

Walking down the produce aisle, you likely pick your fruits and vegetables largely based on visual appeal. The color, shape and size all play a role in whether you decide to purchase a certain fruit or vegetable, but ultimately great taste is what will encourage you to buy the produce again. My job at Monsanto is to study the science behind how senses influence consumer preference.

As a sensory scientist, or taste scientist, I work closely with consumers to study their perceptions of fruits and vegetables. These … Full Article »

Dr. Robb Fraley Calls for Continued Agriculture Innovation at Borlaug Centennial Celebration Featured Article

World Food Prize laureate Robb Fraley outlines population growth and climate change challenges, highlights potential of emerging technologies to safely boost food production.

Norman Borlaug, the father of the Green Revolution, is widely credited with advancing agriculture to save 1 billion lives. While celebrating Borlaug’s legacy this week, Monsanto Chief Technology Officer and 2013 World Food Prize Laureate Robb Fraley outlined the need for continued innovation to feed a population that is expected to grow by more than 2 billion people by 2050.

Fraley addressed members of the global agriculture community today at the Borlaug Summit on Wheat for Food Full Article »


St. Louis, MO: A Leading Bioscience Center

By Donn Rubin
President and CEO of BioSTL

St. Louis, MO is a leading bioscience center. Donn Rubin, President and CEO of BioSTL explains why.

St. Louis is fortunate to have an extraordinary convergence of corporate, university, and entrepreneurial strengths in bioscience.  Coupled with the region’s straightforward professionalism, capital efficiency, and supportive and collaborative spirit, these assets set St. Louis apart as a leading bioscience center. 

St. Louis has long enjoyed an astonishing concentration of world-class scientists in medical and plant sciences, making it a world leader in academic and corporate bioscience research and development.  However, for many years, the … Full Article »


Dr. Norman Borlaug’s Impact on Mexican Agriculture

Homero Melis, is a third generation Mexican farmer who has been farming for more than 20 years. He is currently the secretary of Mexico’s National Agriculture Council (Consejo Nacional Agropecuario – CNA). As the world celebrates the achievements of Dr. Norman Borlaug this week, Homero Melis reflects on the impact Dr. Borlaug’s work has had on Mexican agriculture.

What type of farm do you have?

My fields are in the Maya and the Yaqui Valleys. These lands are irrigated with dam water, and we also have groundwater pump systems to support the Yaqui and Maya district irrigation plans. I call … Full Article »


What the Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program Means to Me

By Daniel Caddell
MBBISP Scholar, University of California, Davis

The Monsanto Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program (MBBISP) aims to develop the next generation of rice and wheat scientists, researchers, and breeders around the world. Daniel Caddell, MBBISP Scholar and PhD candidate at the University of California, Davis reflects on the significance of MBBISP. 

As a MBBISP recipient, I have had the opportunity to focus on improving our understanding of how rice perceives and responds to stress. In an effort to further my research, I will soon be leaving for the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, where I will be working … Full Article »

golden sun wheat

Five Reasons You Need to Know Norm Borlaug

Dr. Norman Borlaug will forever be known as the Father of the Green Revolution for his life saving advancements in wheat breeding. This week, the world celebrates Norm on his 100th birthday. Here are five reasons we heart Norm.

1. He saved a billion people.

Dr. Borlaug’s research led to new wheat varieties that averted a massive starvation looming in India and Pakistan. And that’s why he’s called “the man who saved a billion lives.”



2. He was creative.

He modified crops in ways no one had ever done before. Breeding seeds in two different locations, … Full Article »


Biotech Benefits For Farmers

Over the last 20 years, biotech or GM seeds have provided real and documented benefits to farmers worldwide.  For those of us who don’t farm or have the opportunity to see these benefits firsthand, we’ve captured a few here with links to online resources if you’re interested in learning more.

GM crops enable us to produce more food sustainably while using fewer resources. For example, GM crops provide a healthier environment by saving on pesticides and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions while increasing crop yields substantially.

Resource:  Top 10 Facts, ISAAA, 2013
“From 1996 to 2012, biotech crops contributed to Food … Full Article »


Thinking About World Water Day

By Maggie Cole
Global Supply Chain Sustainability Lead, Monsanto

Did you know that a running faucet typically uses three gallons of water per minute? Moreover, did you know that agriculture uses 70 percent of the world’s fresh water supply? As we prepare to recognize World Water Day tomorrow, it’s important for Monsanto and its employees to think about all the ways we can be better water stewards at home and in the workplace.

As the Global Supply Chain Sustainability Lead (say that five times fast), I’m charged with helping Monsanto continuously improve its operational footprint. An engineer by trade and … Full Article »

Academia: A Key Player in the Fight Against Corn Rootworm

By Dusty Post
Global Insect Management Lead

U.S. farmers face many risks each year when they put their seed in the ground, from adverse weather to insects.  As we’ve written about in past blog posts, corn rootworm is a devastating pest that can be challenging for farmers to manage.  It’s why Monsanto has committed millions of dollars to the Corn Rootworm Knowledge Program, to work with academics to enhance the collective understanding of the corn rootworm.

One of the past recipients of our Knowledge Program grants, Dr. Aaron Gassmann from Iowa State University, recently published a study in Proceedings … Full Article »

MoBotGar Commerce Bank Building

Tagging Along with Jerry Hayes and the Bees

By Glynn Young
Online Communications Team

Jerry Hayes leads Monsanto’s Beeologics business. He’s known across the beekeeping industry, and there are very few beekeepers he doesn’t know. He arrived at Monsanto from the Florida Department of Agriculture to lead the newly acquired Beeologics business in 2012. And he’s helped to bring into Monsanto a needed perspective on honey bees, pollinators in general, colony collapse disorder, and what needs to be done to address bee health for sustainable agriculture and the environment.

Recently I had the opportunity to tag along and hear him talk with an outside group. Jerry spends a … Full Article »