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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Building Bridges through Dialogue Featured Article

Robb Fraley on stage with Chef Michael Chiarello and Cory Johnson of CoryTV at the Bloomberg Next Big thing Summit.

By Robb Fraley
Chief Technology Officer

Good collaboration and communication are just as important as good science. In that spirit, I’m focused this week on building bridges with others who share the goals of safe, sustainable and affordable food for all.

At Bloomberg’s Next Big Thing panel in Sausalito, California, I sat down with Cory Johnson of Bloomberg TV and Chef Michael Chiarello to talk about forming diverse partnerships in search of common food solutions. This is a critical discussion … Full Article »

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Helping Planet Money Make a T-Shirt – Part 2 Featured Article

Recently, NPR’s Planet Money aired a program on how to make a t-shirt, and two Monsanto employees helped provide background and information on the fiber that most t-shirts are made of – cotton. You can watch the Planet Money program here.

We asked both employees some questions about cotton and working at Monsanto. Yesterday, we featured cotton breeder Cindy Green. Today, scientist Brian Martinell talks about cotton and working at Monsanto.

By Brian Martinell
Agricultural Scientist

What would you like the people who buy this t-shirt to know about you?

I’m an agricultural scientist for Monsanto. I’ve spent … Full Article »

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Ten Monsanto Workplace Recognitions in 2013 Featured Article

Monsanto received a number of recognitions in 2013, and they had to do with some hard work by our people, and the kind of workplace Monsanto is.

The company was named one of the world’s Best Multinational Workplaces by Great Places to Work, named to the list of 25 companies for the second year in a row. Monsanto was ranked No. 12.

The company was also named a Great Place to Work in Paraguay and Argentina, and one of the 130 best companies to work for in Brazil. And in a survey of university students and recent graduates … Full Article »

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The Promise of Science for Improving Honey Bee Health Featured Article

By Alex Inberg
Varroa Project Lead, Monsanto

As I read daily media articles about honey bee health and the importance of honey bees as pollinators to our food supply and the environment, I feel compelled to offer my perspective as a scientist working on finding a solution to improve the health of honey bees. While many explanations for the widely-debated phenomenon of colony collapse have been circulated, to this date, scientists can agree only on the fact that multiple factors contribute to honey bee demise.

Since 2009, I have been involved in research to develop products based on RNA interference … Full Article »

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Livetweeting #FJForum13 Featured Article

Monsanto Chief Technology Officer Dr. Robb Fraley spoke at the Farm Journal Forum 13 in Washington, D.C., this morning, talking about science, the regulatory and social landscape, innovation, and the need to produce more food.

As is common at any agriculture meeting (or any meeting, for that matter), a number of people in the audience tweeted Dr. Fraley’s remarks, and they captured the essence of what he said. (AgWeb also published a story about Dr. Fraley’s speech: Fraley: Technology Will Be Key to Feeding World’s Population.)

Here are some of the tweets:

@AgProudRyan: @RobbFraley, @MonsantoCo EVP and … Full Article »

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Science and Repeatability: A Case in Point Featured Article

By Jay Petrick, Ph.D., DABT*
Senior Toxiciologist

The laws of nature are pretty consistent. If I heat a pot of water to 212 degrees over and over and over again, it starts to boil every single time. That makes me confident in saying water boils at 212 degrees.

But what if one of my neighbors says he got water to boil at 180 degrees, and no one else in the neighborhood can recreate the result in their own kitchen? It’s more likely his thermometer is broken than he’s discovered something new about the boiling point of water.

That’s why repeatability … Full Article »

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Science Magazine Names Monsanto a Top 2013 Employer Featured Article

Science Magazine has recognized Monsanto as one of the world’s top employers.  In news released today by the publication, Monsanto ranked #14 in Science’s 2013 Top Employer survey. The survey spotlights the 20 best companies in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries as well as the characteristics which make them great places to work.

“We’re pleased to be recognized by Science as a great employer,” said Robb Fraley, Monsanto’s chief technology officer. “Our company’s winning culture is based on innovation and the incredible talent of our employees around the world, whose focus is providing farmers the tools they need … 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.

Precision Agriculture: News Roundup Featured Article

It’s hard these days to read an agricultural trade publication and not see a story about what’s called “precision agriculture.” This new approach is about systems integration – taking soil science, field science and data analysis, and then using precision equipment in a farmer’s specific fields. Technology is allowing for a kind of “mass customization.”

The benefits are numerous, including being able to target specific fields for the exact amount of inputs needed, promising better yields and potentially reducing costs.

Monsanto calls this Integrated Farming Systems, or IFS. The first product from this new platform is FieldScripts for corn. … Full Article »

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A Science Pioneer’s Journey in Agriculture Featured Article

Dr. Robb Fraley grew up on a farm in Illinois. There, he developed his love for agriculture and his desire to help science make farming easier for farming families. His dream of combining science and agriculture first came to fruition in 1996 with the commercial launch of Roundup Ready® soybeans – a product he developed along with three other Monsanto scientists and an effort that led to them receiving the U.S. National Medal of Technology in 1998.Today, as Monsanto’s executive vice president and chief technology officer, he’s responsible for the products in our R&D pipeline. Today, Secretary of State John Full Article »

Something Smells, and It’s Not the Pigs Featured Article

A study is published in the Journal of Organic Systems. It claims to find a connection between genetically modified feed (corn and soybeans) for pigs and the pigs developing an increase in uterine weight and severe stomach inflammation.

The first thing to be noted is that the study is announced by simultaneous press releases – by GM Watch and Sustainable Pulse, two advocacy organizations opposed to GM food.

The second thing to be noted is that the lead author’s web site is devoted to anti-GM food reports, and happens to have a link on the home page to … Full Article »