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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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 »

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USDA Intends to Prepare EIS on Dicamba- and 2,4D Tolerant Crops Featured Article

On Friday morning, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Inspection Service (APHIS) issued a statement of its intent to prepare two environmental impact statements (EIS) regarding the regulatory status of Dicamba-tolerant and 2,4D-tolerant crops.

Here’s Monsanto’s statement:

Monsanto to Cooperate With USDA on EIS for Next-Generation Dicamba Weed-Control Technologies, Remains Focused On Bringing New Benefits to U.S. Farmers (May 10, 2013)

Monsanto said today that it will cooperate with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) as it prepares an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the company’s next-generation dicamba weed management … Full Article »

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Bowman v. Monsanto: Major Implications for Innovation Featured Article

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in Bowman v. Monsanto, a case that highlights the crucial role that patent protection plays in fostering and protecting U.S. innovation across a broad range of industries—including agriculture, medicine, computer software, and environmental science—that deliver benefits to millions of Americans.

Monsanto’s arguments to the Court underscored the role that patent rights play in enabling innovation in biotechnology and other fields where breakthrough discoveries require substantial R&D investments that depend upon the protections afforded under U.S. patent law.

“Today’s case highlights the importance of intellectual property protection in supporting America’s continued investments in … Full Article »

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Monsanto’s 2013 Research Pipeline Update Featured Article

Last week, Monsanto announced its 2013 update for our research pipeline. A record 18 projects are advancing across the company’s breeding, biotechnology and improved agronomics platforms.

The projects include corn rootworm; above-ground insect protection for corn; insect-protected soybeans; next generation Bollgard cotton; herbicide tolerant wheat; Dicamba-, Glufosinate- and Glyphosate-tolerant corn; Goss’s Wilt resistance in corn; root know nematode resistance in cotton; BioDirect Technology virus control and insect control; and nematicide chemistry, among others.

In addition to the 18 project advancements, Monsanto has three projects in its Ground Breakers® on-farm testing program. Ground Breakers®, a testing program that informs the company’s … Full Article »

Three U.S. Farmers Look Back on 2012 Featured Article

For many farmers in the United States, the start to the 2012 season was almost too good to be true. A mild winter and an early warm-up in March gave most Midwestern farmers, including DEKALB and Asgrow customers Jim Ryan of Viola, Ill., and Steve Becker of McLeansboro, Ill., and Lewis Hybrids customer Dave Hollenberg of Mexico, Mo., an opportunity to plant earlier than usual.

And then, the rain “shut off,” as Ryan said. Ryan and most farmers in the Midwest received very little rain during the critical parts of the growing season. The University of Nebraska’s Drought Monitor, updated … Full Article »

2012 Queeny Award Winner Featured Article

By Raegan Johnson  

On Aug. 21, Monsanto Company announced the 2012 winners of Monsanto’s prestigious Edgar M. Queeny Award for Science and Technology, the Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield Soybean Team— Cindy Arnevik, Nancy Biest, David Butruille, Mike Hawbaker, Jerry Hjelle, and Jennifer Rinehart. 

The Queeny Award is Monsanto’s highest honor for science and technology. It is given in recognition of the development of significant proprietary technology that has resulted in a clear and quantifiable commercial success and/or an achievement that represents a contribution to a basic or an applied field of science that enhances Monsanto’s technological leadership and … Full Article »

Transitioning Biotech Traits to “Generic Status” – RR1 Soybeans Featured Article

Monsanto is working with industry groups, in consultation with seed companies and farmer organizations, on mechanisms to transition proprietary biotech traits to so-called generic status to enable access to technology and farmer choice. 

This is a key issue in our industry right now, and the discussion has been generated in part by Monsanto’s first-generation Roundup Ready (“RR 1”) soybean trait because the last U.S. patent on that trait will expire in early 2015. Farmers and seed companies that want to continue to work with the trait will have to address the regulatory implications of that decision. 

Sustainability of Biotech Trait Full Article »

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Recent Studies on Benefits of Biotech Crops Featured Article

Three recent studies – of biotech crops in Brazil, Argentina and India – all note the benefits of crops with biotechnology traits. 

Celeres Ambiental, a consulting firm based in Brazil, looked at the impact of GM cotton, GM corn and herbicide-resistant soybeans for Brazilian farmers. The study, undertaken for the Brazilian Seed and Seedling Association, evaluated both the economic benefits to the farmers who have adopted biotechnology as well as the environmental benefits to society.  

The study found that for every $1 that the farmer invested in biotech seed, Brazilian farmers obtained an incremental return that averaged US$ 2.61 … Full Article »

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Who should speak up for farmers?

As farmers look at the way the world works, its easy to think things need to change. Tennessee farmer Johnny Dodson says farmers need to speak up & be involved. He started with county and state soybean association meetings many years ago and as he became more engaged and involved, the other steps just came into place.

“I believe in becoming involved & making a difference,” Dodson says. “I don’t believe there is anyone else who can present my case, my issues any better than I can. I’m involved in those issues that are important to me. Whether it be … Full Article »

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Farmers Learning from Each Other

I happened to be in one of the fields Johnny Dodson farms near Four Points, Tennessee with soybean farmers from the Midwest who came down south to see the issues on weed resistance that Johnny and his neighbors are facing.

Standing alongside a bus that’s pulled off the road to let people out into a cotton or soybean field is surely the way to draw attention. And although Johnny’s fairly humble about this sort of thing, he also knows he has a unique chance to help some farmers get more proactive on weed management.

He knows complacency is easy to … Full Article »