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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Reaching Out to the Community in Idaho Featured Article

By Elizabeth Niven

Mining phosphate is an important part of Monsanto’s Roundup® herbicide production. The proposed Blackfoot Bridge Mine permit, in the southeast corner of Idaho, was approved this past July with a wave of support from the surrounding communities and endorsed by elected officials across the political spectrum. Most significantly, Monsanto’s phosphate mine approval was not appealed or challenged in court by environmental organizations.

Considering that approval for most mines in the United States includes some appeals and litigation, Monsanto was elated with the outcome.

Randy Vranes, Monsanto business unit lead for mineral activities in Soda Springs, Idaho, explained … Full Article »

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Rain, Rain, Go Away – Eastern Canada Corn Seed Redistribution Featured Article

By Elizabeth Niven

As the constant rain soaked eastern Canada in the spring of 2011, Monsanto’s sales, manufacturing and operations teams were scrambling behind the scenes to address an epic redistribution of seeds because of the weather conditions affecting corn farmers. The extreme weather delayed planting and flooded fields already planted. Many seed orders were no longer appropriate given the conditions on the ground and, in many cases, replants were necessary. In some cases, soybeans needed to replace corn.

“Typically, a very small percentage of farmers have to substitute one corn hybrid for an earlier one because of weather-related issues … Full Article »

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Working Toward Low Carbon Emissions in Brazil Featured Article

By Elizabeth Niven

In 2009, Brazil passed into law a commitment to cut its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions between 36.1 and 38.9 percent by 2020. In support of that commitment, Monsanto in Brazil joined Companies for the Climate, a corporate platform coordinated by Brazil’s Fundação Getúlio Vargas, and focused on contributing positively to the GHG discussion.

“Brazil wants to be a leader in the new ‘green economy’ and demonstrate this to the international community,” said Gabriela Burian, Monsanto sustainability manager in Brazil. “The timeline will be short, and we anticipate that in the next 18 months we’ll have new goals … Full Article »

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Monsanto South Africa Women’s Days Recognize Important Partnerships Featured Article

By Elizabeth Niven

What started as a component of a DEKALB-brand introduction in South Africa has emerged as a model program to strengthen customer relationships by engaging one of the most important and influential partners in the farm family: the wife.

In South Africa, most of the commercial farmers are men, but farming is a family business and most women play an integral role in the business. Many times, wives reconcile the books, serve as the accountant and bookkeeper and order the supplies, including seeds.

“We recognize the important role the wives play in decision-making and farming activities in general,” … Full Article »

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Celebrating Earth Day Every Day Featured Article

By Elizabeth Niven

On April 22, more than one billion people world wide celebrated Earth Day’s 42nd anniversary seeking a healthier, more sustainable planet.

At Monsanto, every day is Earth Day. To underscore its commitment to sustainability, Monsanto in St. Louis has taken the adage of reduce, reuse and recycle to a new level with substantial results. In 2011, through composting, recycling, donating and using green technologies, the company’s environmental footprint was significantly reduced to the tune of more than 2,800,000 pounds of waste diverted from landfills.

To accomplish this, corporate services implemented a plan that established and renewed … Full Article »

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Conserving with ECO-OIL in Argentina Featured Article

By Elizabeth Niven

During the past decade, Argentina evolved from an energy-exporting country to an energy-importing country. This unforeseen growing pain for the country means that during times of extreme temperatures, energy demands exceed supply and lead to outages, especially in the winter in the industrial sector and with natural gas.

In the Monsanto Roundup production plant in Zárate, Argentina, the dual-fuel boiler runs on natural gas during the winter. Last year, the plant experienced 40 days with restricted supply. During these outages, the boiler is prepared to operate on liquid fuels, most frequently diesel fuel.

Diesel fuel has two … Full Article »

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Improving the Quality Education by Planting Seeds in Abohar, India Featured Article

By Elizabeth Niven

Seasonal employees work at Monsanto’s cotton-breeding station in Abohar, Punjab, in northwest India, where they plant, weed, harvest and gin the cotton. Established in 2008, this 52-acre station develops cotton hybrids suitable for farmers in northern India.

The children from Monsanto’s 50-60 seasonal workers and from the farming village attend the local government’s primary school. More than 400 children at the school receive books, uniforms, lunches and weekly visits from a nurse. What they didn’t receive was a place to sit or clean water to drink. Students sat on the floor during class and drank ground water … Full Article »

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A Gold Rush of Red Peppers for Farmers in Northeast China Featured Article

By Elizabeth Niven

In the movie Forrest Gump, if Bubba had been talking about red pepper instead of shrimp, he would still be making his list:  Anyway, like I was sayin’ you can use red pepper as seasoning, in salads, in gumbo, in stew, in soup, dry, fresh, crushed, as powder, in barbecue sauce, on meat, on potatoes, on chips, in rice, in casseroles, in tacos, boil with it, bake with it, sauté with it, for flavor in Mexican, Creole, Cajun, Thai, Szechuan and Indian cooking… 

The red pepper industry is experiencing a profound change in northeast China, driven … Full Article »

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It’s in the Bag – Simplifying Planting for Farmers Featured Article

By Elizabeth Niven

Sometimes, it seems like a long time from when a farmer orders seed to when he is ready to plant and standing in the seed shed. Trying to make planting decisions, determine what hybrids belong together and where to plant refuge for insect-protected (Bt) products gets complicated.

Traditionally, Bt corn required a structured refuge, a block or strip of crops without the Bt gene, planted within a required distance and configuration for the requisite stewardship to preserve trait durability and meet regulatory requirements. To comply, growers needed to purchase Bt corn and the appropriate amount of refuge … Full Article »

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Researching How to Increase Tomato Yields Featured Article

By Elizabeth Niven

There are two types of commercially grown tomatoes: there’s the fresh market tomato, hand picked from the field prior to being ripe and sold individually; and the processing tomato, mechanically harvested when ripe, quickly transferred to a manufacturing plant and made into tomato paste, tomato sauces, ketchup, whole canned tomatoes and juices.

While individually, the processing tomato is anonymous, the popularity of the end products is immense. U.S. consumption is on the rise because of the popularity of pizzas, pastas, salsas and ketchup.

With that in mind, Monsanto tomato-research teams in Israel, Italy and California, are asking, … Full Article »