On Sept. 17, Monsanto Co. outlined changes to its Roundup brand agricultural herbicide business which are expected to result in more competitive offerings for U.S. growers. Business changes include:
- Adjusting the price of its Roundup brand agricultural herbicides.
- Investing in U.S. manufacturing capacity to help provide a long-term, reliable supply.
- Continuing to invest in product quality and new innovations while helping growers manage risk.
The company announced it is slashing price on its Roundup brand agricultural herbicides. “We anticipate farmers will see Roundup prices that are 50 percent of what they were last year,” said Glenn Stith, North American crop protection lead. “This new price is effective now as retailers and farmers begin planning for the 2010 planting season.
“The global glyphosate business was incredibly volatile in 2008 and 2009, resulting in a difficult situation for both suppliers and farmers to manage through,” Stith said. “Retailers and farmers faced uncertain product supply, rapidly fluctuating prices, and some quality issues from Chinese suppliers that led to crop safety concerns and failures in weed control.”
There are two primary sources of glyphosate — Monsanto and approximately 50 China-based companies, many of which are government-owned or controlled operations that frequently shift production based on changes in policy and need for the key raw materials. This can have a significant impact on supply to U.S. growers.
Stith explained that “Monsanto is investing to help U.S. farmers have a reliable supply of Roundup brand agricultural herbicides that is competitively priced and superior to generic imports. It is critical for U.S. farmers to have a trusted and reliable source in a highly competitive market that has seen dramatic fluctuations. We believe we can offer farmers a competitively priced product that is superior to the Chinese generics in the market.”
In the past two years, Monsanto invested $200 million in additional capacity in the Luling, LA, plant that supplies formulated Roundup agricultural herbicide brands. The added supply from Luling will come online in the months to come. The company has also made investments to increase mining capacity for glyphosate raw materials in southeastern Idaho. Proposed plans for the mine are currently under regulatory review.
The company is also actively investing in weed control research that will benefit growers. These include biotechnology traits like dicamba- and glufosinate-tolerance as well as chemistry solutions such as new formulations of dicamba and acetochlor.
“We realize that each season farmers make choices when it comes to the specific herbicides, seeds, and traits that they purchase,” said Stith. “Our investments in capacity show our commitment to providing farmers and retailers with a consistent supply of high-quality product with unsurpassed weed control when they make that decision.”
“The innovations in formulations offered by Roundup brand agricultural herbicides continue to establish the standard for weed control and crop safety,” said Matt Helms, North America crop protection marketing lead.
“Farmers and retailers know Roundup branded products offer them the highest levels of crop safety and weed control,” Helms explained. “There were an increased number of farmers reporting performance failures and crop safety concerns from inferior, Chinese-sourced glyphosate products. Our new, reduced price provides farmers the highest quality product, a Roundup brand, at a competitive price.”
Growers using Roundup brand agricultural herbicides continue to receive the backing of the Roundup Rewards program, which offers several programs to manage risk on the farm. Since it began, the Roundup Rewards program has paid farmers more than half a billion dollars through programs including replant, crop loss and Start Clean, Stay Clean program as well as warranties on Roundup brand agricultural herbicide performance.
“We encourage farmers to contact their local retailer as they plan for the 2010 season. Talk to them about the weed control programs that will meet local field conditions and design a full program approach,” Helms said.
(Source: Monsanto Co.)