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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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 »

Tweeting the #GlobalAg Summit in Washington DC Featured Article

Some days life moves at 300mph. Some days you feel good about what you spent your day doing.

Last Friday was both of those days for me, as, as a proud employee of Monsanto, I live tweeted the Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

It was an incredible day.

Speeches from President Obama, Bono and Secretary of State Clinton. Panel discussions featuring Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant, Tanzania President HE Jakaya Kikwete, the Honourable Andrew Mitchell UK MP, and many more governmental, business and
organizational leaders.
Full Article »

Looking Ahead to the 2012 Corn Planting Season

As winter quickly passes, we recognize that many growers are gearing up for spring planting and may have questions about our recommendations for corn rootworm (CRW) traited hybrids due to recent discussions and headlines about corn rootworm populations.

Whether you are one of the few who experienced unexpected damage or one of the majority who experienced excellent performance on more than 99.8% of the acres planted with our corn rootworm traits in 2011, our recommendations for CRW control are the same.

  • We recommend you limit corn rootworm damage by using dual mode-of-action (pyramided) Bt-trait products, rotating your crop to
Full Article »

Innovation Conserves Water in Hawaii

Water is a limited resource. According to FAO, agriculture is the world’s largest consumer of water. Between now and 2050 the world’s water supply will have to feed and create livelihoods for an additional 2.7 billion people. It is essential to identify ways to preserve this precious resource.

Monsanto Hawaii

By making key changes in irrigation and fertigation practices, Monsanto Hawaii’s production research and manufacturing teams have saved more than 11 million gallons of water or enough water for more than 150 households for a year.

The research team undertook a series of studies at the Molokai and Kunia … Full Article »

Producing More Vegetables in Peru

Nils Koster

By Sara Duncan

Imagine increasing productivity by 1,000 percent without adding hours to the day. In just two production cycles, Monsanto employees in Peru increased the yield of cucumbers by 985 percent at their Homefarm Ica vegetable seed production site. The team also more than doubled the yield of melons, watermelons and tomatoes, tripled the yield of lettuce, and increased the yield of seedless watermelon by almost 700 percent. How did they do it? They looked at their farm and made production changes to make it more efficient.

“When I became Ica’s site manager, I realized–based on my … Full Article »

Indian Farmers Producing More, Conserving More and Improving Lives with Better Technology

Lal pours seed into the Project SHARE drill

By Sara Duncan

Indian farmer Jamuna Lal had always planted his corn crop the same way: he mixed the corn seed with the fertilizer and spread it out over the field. Like many farmers in his village, he also used a traditional method of a bullock-drawn indigenous plough based system. Using this method results in the random spacing of seeds and direct contact with fertilizer—both factors decrease yield.

After seeing farmers experiment with mechanization, Lal decided to join a project that introduced him to a new sowing and fertilizing drill that would … Full Article »

Impacts Flooding and Levee Breaks Have on Farms

Last May, Tennessee had flash-flooding conditions which caused some levees to break (see post and video here). We had a chance to visit Bob Walker in Somerville at the time to see how his cotton, corn and soybean farm would recuperate. Yesterday, Bob and I talked about some of the issues farmers will be facing with throughout the Mississippi River basin. Listen to interview with TN Farmer Bob_Walker_on flooding & levee breaks.

Some of the highlights Bob covers include:

  • The impacts are further reaching than 2011 and 2012. He feels the recovery will be several years and the implications
Full Article »
wet field

Rain Delay Provides Weed Management Training Time

With the wet weather that’s crossing much of the middle of the country, farmers may be finding themselves in the field less than they would like. The progress that was underway has been stopped much like a rain delay in a favorite team’s baseball game. So, time normally spent on field work and planting is being spent indoors. I’ve talked to farmers who are spending time working on their websites, and others who are working on equipment in their shops. One other thing people may want to give additional attention to, is the farm’s weed management plan.

As we discussed … Full Article »

Video: Planting Drags Out, Moisture Issues at Every Turn

It seems like forever since we had an update on what was happening on Bob Walker’s cotton, corn and soybean farm. Planting that started back in mid-April faced torrential rains in early May. Planting started so long ago and the blog about it was written so long ago, that people have likely forgotten about it. What a luxury that would be for the Walkers. It’s a luxury they do not have for sure. That’s because planters were still rolling at Walker farms throughout the month of June.

“We replanted some yesterday (June 30) but we’re doing alright. It has been … Full Article »

Muscatine Ag Students Take Hands On Learning to the Extreme

Dave Tometich shows a student how to load a planter on the Muscatine Ag Learning center farm.

By Kate

Most farmers don’t have to worry about getting the crops in and making time for their algebra homework but at the Muscatine Ag Learning center in Muscatine, IA, the students face that very time crunch.

The Muscatine Agriculture Learning Center is a unique center that serves Muscatine High School and the community college. High school students in the agriculture program, the majority of which live in an urban environment, get hands on experience running the farm and in some cases, college … Full Article »