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.
[x] close

Monocultures: The Myth…the Reality…the Future Featured Article

By Robert T. Fraley, Chief Technology Officer

Myth – By leading farmers to focus on a small number of highly lucrative seeds, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) foster the spread of monocultures. As a result, they erode biodiversity and actually put humanity at risk of famine through increased crop vulnerability to disease.


“Very simply,” in the words of Michael Pollan, “a field of identical plants will be exquisitely vulnerable to insects, weeds, and disease. Monoculture is at the root of virtually every problem that bedevils the modern farmer…”

Context – Monocultures – large areas planted with the same type of crop – predate the development of GMOs by decades if not centuries. That’s because the real driver Full Article »

Refuge-in-a-Bag: A New Benefit for Farmers

By Holly Butka
SmartStax Product Manager

Having been raised on a farm in Western Nebraska, I know first hand how hectic it can be during planting season. To maximize profits, farmers want to get the corn planted as quickly as possible. Not having to calculate refuge, clean out planters or fill the planter with two different products can really save time and reduce stress.

After years of research and work, Monsanto is finally able to offer growers in the Corn Belt the first single bag refuge solution, and I’m excited about the convenience that Genuity® SmartStax® RIB Complete™ will … Full Article »

Farmer and field

It's a New Year…Almost!

By Katie

Farmers can take pride in the hard work they put in this season.

It’s human nature to think ahead. We think about what we’re going to have for supper, and what we’re going to do for the coming weekend. In the seed industry, now is the time we start thinking about our plan for success for the upcoming year. We think about varieties we’re going to plant, how much seed we think we’ll sell, plans for plots, plans for field days, programs, and financing, and the list goes on and on.

We make these decisions based on how … Full Article »

A Picture of a Reduced Refuge Concept is Worth…

A few weeks back, I wrote a post attempting to explain simply in words the difference between current and future corn products offering a reduced refuge. (“Refuge in the Bag: Will that be one bag or two?”)

I reviewed Monsanto’s current Genuity® VT Triple PROTM and Genuity® SmartStax TM products versus Pioneer’s Optimum® AcreMaxTM 1 and Monsanto’s in-development RIB Complete concept (not yet available).

Sometimes a picture is better than words. This technical piece provides an effective visual of the four products below.

Much better. Thanks team.

UPDATE: I received a comment (see below) that Full Article »

New Corn Technologies Are Taking Down Some Major Pests

An upclose look at corn earworm at work, harming a farmer's corn crop.

If you ask many corn farmers, aside from weather, pests are at the top of the list of factors that hurt their yields. Corn Earworm, Fall Armyworm, and Western Bean Cutworm can all impact yields due to destruction of corn kernels. Lucky for these corn farmers, scientists like the ones at Monsanto are working hard to develop traits and technology to combat these yield inhibitors.

This summer, Monsanto agronomists and farmers are taking a good look at our Genuity corn traits for corn and comparing how … Full Article »

Refuge in the Bag: Will That Be One Bag or Two?

Seed companies—including Monsanto—have been developing the concept of “refuge in the bag,” or RIB for short, for a number of years now. The goal is to make refuge compliance for insect-protected (B.t.) crops easier and simpler for farmers. Today, for most products, the U.S. EPA requires a corn farmer to set aside a percentage of land and plant a structured refuge.

Ideally, a refuge-in-the-bag option provides both types of seed—insect-protected and non-insect-protected—in one bag. The seed company manufactures the right mix based on the refuge percentage required for a particular corn technology. In a true RIB concept, farmers … Full Article »