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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Monsanto’s Plant Breeders Play Matchmaker

By Brandie Piper
Monsanto Corporate Engagement

Matchmakers have a long history of pairing together two people who complement each other in the hopes of fostering a relationship. The process is similar for plant breeders and the crops they study.

Like matchmakers, the goal of plant breeders is to bring together the two plants best-suited for each other so they can produce offspring with the best characteristics of both. The resulting offspring are called hybrids or varieties, depending on the crop. At Monsanto, our plant breeders play matchmaker every day to all types of crops such as corn, soybeans, peppers, … Full Article »

Earth Day and Corn Farming: 45 Years of Progress Featured Article

By Robert T. Fraley
Chief Technology Officer

Imagine, as the world grows more hot and crowded, not having to using more land for farms but returning some of it instead to forest and grassland. Imagine the reductions in soil erosion and water consumption, the decline of greenhouse gas emissions, and a host of other benefits for our planet.

It’s possible. Corn farmers have shown how.

So as we mark Earth Day this April, I want to call attention to an aspect of corn farming that is too often lost in the story of our food systems. I want to celebrate … Full Article »

Melbourne Hosts Inaugural ‘Tomato Innovation Day’ Featured Article

More than 80 growers, suppliers, retailers and educators from across Australia and New Zealand descended on Melbourne for the inaugural De Ruiter™ Living Proof Tomato Innovation Day in Melbourne.

In a first-of-its kind event for Monsanto Australia, attendees were treated to a hands-on, interactive experience that demonstrated how De Ruiter’s™ proven performance, next generation technology and leading products can support and grow their operations.

Monsanto’s Vegetables Commercial Lead for Australia and New Zealand, Rachel Palumbo, said the event was a resounding success and showcased the company’s expertise and passion for producing tasty and nutritious food.

“Through sessions on rootstock utilization, global … Full Article »

Brazilian Journalists Visit with American Farmers Featured Article

In the spirit of sharing more information and fostering discussion with others around the challenges of producing food and the technologies that can help with this challenge, Monsanto Brazil invited reporters from the Brazilian newspapers Valor Econômico and Correio Braziliense, and the TV channel Terra Viva, to meet with farmers in the U.S., attend the Farm Progress show and tour Monsanto’s facilities.

“We want to have conversations about food and an open dialog about our products and the latest technologies that are going to help farmers produce more in a sustainable way. Plus, while farms back in their country … Full Article »

Setting the record straight on Monsanto’s collaboration with Tekmira Featured Article

There have been recent rumors that Monsanto has partnered with the Department of Defense to work with Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation to develop a vaccine against Ebola. This rumor is exactly that: a rumor.

As part of our ongoing efforts to provide sustainable solutions for agriculture, Monsanto has been partnering with others who are experts in their fields. At Monsanto, we recognize that the best solutions come from collaboration. Tekmira is a leading developer of delivery and formulation technology within the pharmaceutical industry. Our agreement with Tekmira specifically relates to their proprietary delivery and formulation technology, and will allow us to Full Article »

AgTech and Sustainable Growth: An Emerging Economic Sector Featured Article

The Ewing Marion Kaufmann Foundation of Kansas City and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center of St. Louis have partnered to produce a white paper entitled AgTech: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Agriculture. Behind the report is a stark reality – more food has to be produced in the next 40 years than has been produced in all of human history to date. Coupled with that reality is the hope embodied in a newly emerging economic sector, which the white paper’s authors call “sustainable agricultural technology,” or, more simply, “AgTech.” The report has three purposes:

  • Increase awareness of the
Full Article »

A Future Opportunity for Bee Health Featured Article

By Dr. Gregory Heck
Monsanto Company
For Bee Culture Magazine

Monsanto’s Dr. Greg Heck recently wrote an article for Bee Culture Magazine on a future opportunity in bee health – RNAi and what it could mean as a great addition to the toolbox of agricultural solutions.

“RNAi is used by plants, animals and fungi to read the information stored in their DNA and use it to develop actual physical characteristics, called ‘traits,’ he writes. “Our early farmer ancestors saw some of these traits as valuable and bred plants for those desirable qualities – without knowing, needless to say, that RNAi … Full Article »

Dr. Robb Fraley Calls for Continued Agriculture Innovation at Borlaug Centennial Celebration Featured Article

World Food Prize laureate Robb Fraley outlines population growth and climate change challenges, highlights potential of emerging technologies to safely boost food production.

Norman Borlaug, the father of the Green Revolution, is widely credited with advancing agriculture to save 1 billion lives. While celebrating Borlaug’s legacy this week, Monsanto Chief Technology Officer and 2013 World Food Prize Laureate Robb Fraley outlined the need for continued innovation to feed a population that is expected to grow by more than 2 billion people by 2050.

Fraley addressed members of the global agriculture community today at the Borlaug Summit on Wheat for Food Full Article »

What Do Farmers Have in Common with SXSW Attendees? Featured Article

Saturday morning, I was at a meeting in a room filled with farmers who had come from every county in Indiana to a meeting in Indianapolis. They asked me to help them understand about how you can talk about a topic you are highly passionate about when it can also be controversial. In other words, they were wondering how they could better connect with others. It was a great way to start my day!

The room’s demographics reflected what we see in agriculture a lot of the time. There were more of the greatest generation and baby boomers than millennials, … Full Article »

Feeding the world hinges on relationships and partnerships, not just technology Featured Article

Hugh Grant and The Economist’s Emma Duncan at the Feeding the World 2014 Conference in London

By Caroline Emde
Monsanto Europe Public Affairs

Technology isn’t the limiting factor in feeding a growing population, participants at The Economist’s Feeding the World conference said in London Thursday.

Technological solutions to dramatically increase farm productivity already exist, with even more under development, and range from more widespread use of high-yield hybrid seeds, to irrigation and use of fertilizers, among others. Instead, speakers pointed to different challenges in feeding the world:  insufficient rural development, education and organization to effectively support millions of smallholder farmers; … Full Article »