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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What is a Plant?

By Qi Wang
Monsanto R&D IT Strategy Lead
Senior Science Fellow

Imagine a manufacturing plant entirely self-managed by software – billions of lines of code – and the plant is completely sustainable.

Self-managing because the plant could develop its own architectural blueprint, set its own foundation in the ground, raise its own buildings with hundreds of units.  Sustaining because it could switch tens of thousands of manufacturing processes on and off based on supplies and environmental conditions, and when the products are finally made, it would shut itself off.  Oh, by the way, every part of the facility is bio-degradable … Full Article »

European Union decision limits innovation in agriculture Featured Article

Earlier today, the European Union (EU) amended the laws to allow its’ member state governments from one side to make their own decisions permitting cultivation of individual GM crops at national or regional level and at the same time let other states restrict or prohibit cultivation of individual GM crops at national or regional level for political reasons. This is despite the fact that the EU’s own regulatory experts, as well as other experts around the world, have declared them safe and GM crops have been used successfully around the globe-including in EU-for the past 20 years.

Since the European Union first … Full Article »

A Summer at Monsanto Featured Article

By Kassie Curran
Summer Intern

Have you ever taken an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone? I can think of many times where I have taken opportunities like this, and they’ve always ended up being significant growth experiences with lasting benefits. I remember the first time I went to a livestock judging contest when I was 7 years old – I was terrified because I wasn’t fully prepared for what I was getting into, but after 12 years of livestock judging I had countless experiences that taught me critical thinking, confidence, hard work, and a love for challenge. … Full Article »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »