Monsanto Defines New Growth Layers For R&D Pipeline

Monsanto’s pipeline offers rich growth layers beyond breeding and biotechnology that add incremental growth opportunities going forward, Chief Technology Officer Robb Fraley, Ph.D., told investors Wednesday at the Goldman Sachs Basic Materials Conference 2012. Fraley discussed new technologies with the potential to create real commercial value in Monsanto’s pipeline, including the expansion of the Integrated Farming Systems portfolio and the announcement of a new agricultural biologicals platform featuring BioDirect technology, which represents Monsanto’s first step into biological products. He also touched on emerging global opportunities, highlighting the company’s capital investment in Central and Eastern Europe as well as the continued ascension of agriculture in Brazil and Argentina, all of which are expected to drive Monsanto’s growth over the next several years.

“Our pipeline has evolved significantly from where it was just a few years ago and today it is more exciting and robust than ever,” Fraley said. “Not since we developed the first Roundup Ready trait have we seen such promising categories of value emerging from our pipeline. We’re exploring new areas of technology and new areas of the world, and all roads lead to opportunity for both Monsanto and our farmer customers as we work together to improve yields.”

Monsanto Introduces Ag Biologicals Platform, BioDirect Technology

Fraley introduced the latest addition to the company’s R&D pipeline, early development of ag biological products through Monsanto’s new BioDirect technology. BioDirect brings Monsanto’s expertise in plant genomics to chemistry for the first time, enabling products that could provide new options for sustainable pest or virus control.

Agricultural biologicals are typically topical or seed treatment products that are produced from natural materials and used to complement or replace agricultural chemical products, Fraley said. These products make up a growing market segment, Fraley noted, and today represent roughly $1.7 billion in sales each year.

Fraley said BioDirect is a natural extension of Monsanto’s work in advanced breeding and biotechnology, as it draws on an extensive knowledge of genomics. The BioDirect technology utilizes the application of molecules that are in nature, like RNA, to diminish the production of specific proteins in the target organism.

BioDirect technologies eventually could be used to identify new opportunities for current herbicides, create better insect control options, and offer new virus-control tools. Fraley also cited recent transactions that have complemented and helped accelerate Monsanto’s existing work in this space.

“BioDirect technology has the potential to be one of the most exciting advancements for agriculture that I’ve seen in my career,” Fraley said. “By working with a plant’s own naturally-occurring processes, we have the potential to create products that are very precise and specific in how they work and may require smaller and fewer applications than current agricultural products. That’s better for farmers, more sustainable and consistent with our vision to create products that enable farmers to produce more and conserve more.”

Precision Planting Strengthens Monsanto’s Vision For Integrated Farming Systems

Fraley also cited the company’s progress as it builds out its Integrated Farming Systems portfolio, noting today’s announced plan to acquire precision agricultural engineering and planting technology leader Precision Planting Inc. Monsanto’s planned Integrated Farming Systems offering would provide science-based agronomic seed prescriptions with next-generation precision equipment, helping farmers increase yield potential and reduce risk.

“I’ve been in farming my whole life, and welcoming the Precision Planting team to Monsanto is a real highlight,” Fraley said. “By bringing together Precision’s planting technology with our data and breeding expertise, we expect to set ourselves apart with our ability to deliver specific on-farm prescriptions with the tools to use them for our farmer customers and I believe we will greatly improve crop yields.”

Growth, Continued Investment In Latin America, Eastern Europe

Fraley noted the company’s technology investment reaches beyond the United States to growing agricultural powerhouses like Brazil and Argentina and emerging leaders like Eastern Europe.

In Brazil, Monsanto is readying for the commercial launch of its INTACTA RR2 PRO soybeans, the first product the company has developed specifically for an international market. INTACTA RR2 PRO brings insect protection to the Roundup Ready 2 Yield product that has delivered yield increases to U.S. farmers along with glyphosate tolerance. The product has been well-received in on-farm trials and has already been tested by 500 farmers in Brazil with successful results. It is expected to be commercialized pending the deregulation process for Brazil’s main soybean importers.

Argentina also is expected to have more agricultural technology choices in the future, Fraley said, given good progress has been made on a new payment system between the company and Argentina farmers that encourages Monsanto’s continued investment in that market. With continuing progress, Fraley said he would expect the company to introduce Ground Breakers trials for INTACTA RR2 PRO in Argentina for fiscal year 2014. The company also has invested capital in corn production for Argentina.

Fraley discussed oversea growth prospects as well, noting the company’s planned capital investment in an expansion of its corn seed production facilities in Central and Eastern Europe.

“We have a real yield opportunity in Eastern Europe, which has rich, black soil and large tracts of uncultivated, arable land,” Fraley said. “Today, corn yields are about half of what they are in comparable areas of Western Europe. The area is well-positioned geographically as an exporter to the rest of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East and has great potential to really boost productivity with better genetics in corn and canola.”

Fraley said if yields in Eastern Europe can be improved to the level of Western Europe, farmers in the East could produce enough food for 500 million people – and two key components of increased yield are better seed and agronomic practices. 

Topics:

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Monsanto Defines New Growth Layers For R&D Pipeline

Crop Inputs Stories

MicronutrientsMicronutrients Going Macro
September 9, 2014
Between 2014’s fantastic growing conditions and a heightened awareness on plant nutrition, the major players in micronutrients are gearing up for another big year. Read More
FertilizerFall Fertility 2014: Forecasting Fertilizer Use
September 7, 2014
Great crops this year have tapped the soil, and fall work is definitely called for, but how challenging will that get? Read More
FungicidesSudden Death Syndrome, Brown Stem Rot Reported In Indiana Soybeans
September 3, 2014
Farmers and retailers should be watching for symptoms of these two diseases over the next few weeks as they are best managed through preventative methods. Read More
HerbicidesScouting Key To Next Season’s Soybean Herbicide Program
August 12, 2014
When growing soybeans, growers need to think ahead to stay one step ahead of weeds. That means examining weed threats and evaluating which herbicides work best. Read More

Trending Articles

FertilizerFall Fertility 2014: Forecasting Fertilizer Use
September 7, 2014
Great crops this year have tapped the soil, and fall work is definitely called for, but how challenging will that get? Read More
CropLife 100CHS To Build $3 Billion Fertilizer Plant In North Dakota
September 5, 2014
The fertilizer plant in Spiritwood will be the single largest investment in CHS history, as well as the single largest private investment project ever undertaken in North Dakota. Read More
EquipmentNew Holland Acquires Miller-St. Nazianz
September 3, 2014
The assets of Miller acquired as part of the transaction will become part of New Holland Agriculture, a CNH Industrial brand, building on a successful four-year partnership between the two companies. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Acquires East Kansas Chemical
September 2, 2014
Ranked 82nd on the CropLife 100, East Kansas Chemical will operate as part of Pinnacle's Performance Agriculture brand. Read More
MAGIE 2014 ShowStopper
EquipmentJohn Deere Again Wins MAGIE ShowStopper Award
August 25, 2014
For the second consecutive year, John Deere was honored at the Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) for its new R4045 sprayer. Read More
ManagementExpert To Discuss Farmland Value, Rent At Farm Science Review
August 18, 2014
While cropland values in Ohio increased in the past two years, they have remained flat in 2014, declining in some cases, according to an Ohio State University agricultural economist. Read More

Latest News

Equipment2014 Product Of The Year Voting
September 19, 2014
Many new products were introduced to the ag retail marketplace this year. From this group, CropLife IRON and its consulting partners have selected five finalists for the Product of the Year award. Please cast your vote today to help us determine the winner. Read More
Equipment2014 Farm Science Review Crowd Tops 2013 Show
September 19, 2014
The 52nd annual Ohio State University Farm Science Review welcomed more than 130,000 farmers, industry professionals, FFA students and agricultural enthusiasts during the three-day event. Read More
Seed/BiotechUSDA Approves Enlist Following Rigorous Review
September 18, 2014
Dow AgroSciences now awaits EPA registration of Enlist Duo herbicide, the companion herbicide to the Enlist traits, which is expected in the near future. Read More
BlendersYargus Appoints New Plant Manager
September 18, 2014
Steve Shaffer will direct and coordinate daily operations at the company’s Marshall, IL, manufacturing plant, where the Layco line of material handling equipment is produced. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Acquires Kansas-Based Cedar Ridge Supply
September 16, 2014
Cedar Ridge Supply will operate as part of Pinnacle's Performance Agriculture brand. Read More
StewardshipSecretary Vilsack Highlights Innovative Conservation Ef…
September 15, 2014
Nearly $16 million in Conservation Innovation Grants (CIGs) will be awarded to 47 organizations to help develop cutting-edge ideas to accelerate innovation in private lands conservation. Read More
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Responds To Cargill Lawsuit
September 15, 2014
Syngenta believes that the lawsuit is without merit and strongly upholds the right of growers to have access to approved new technologies. Read More
Equipment2014 Farm Science Review Launches Mobile App
September 15, 2014
Smartphone and tablet users planning on attending the 2014 Farm Science Review can now download this year’s customized mobile application. Read More
CropLife 100Southern States Coop Grower Sets Georgia Soybean Yield …
September 15, 2014
Georgia farmer Randy Dowdy's soybeans yielded an astonishing 110.66 bushels per acre, crushing the previous record of 82 bushels-per-acre. Read More
NIMITZ Treated vs Untreated pepper plant
InsecticidesNIMITZ Nematicide Approved By EPA
September 12, 2014
NIMITZ is a novel, non-fumigant nematicide with simplified application features, user safety and an active ingredient with a unique mode of action. Read More
InsecticidesMarrone Bio Innovations Receives Patent For Chromobacte…
September 11, 2014
The patent is the first step for MBI in developing a commercially viable product to inhibit infestations of corn rootworm larvae across America and other regions. Read More
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences: Keeping The Pipeline Stocked
September 11, 2014
Dow AgroSciences is embracing product diversity to drive the company’s future. Read More
CropLife 100CHS Is Official Partner Of New St. Paul Ballpark
September 10, 2014
The new ballpark in St. Paul, MN, officially became CHS Field with Twin Cities-based CHS Inc. revealed as the naming rights partner. Read More
EquipmentHagie Honors Farming Stewardship Leaders
September 10, 2014
The Iowa Farm Environmental Leader award recognizes Iowa farmers as environmental leaders that are committed to healthy soils and improved water quality. Read More
Precision AgPlantBeat: Your Plants’ Pulse In The Palm Of Your Han…
September 10, 2014
A new agronomic monitoring and recommendation service from Phytech could rewrite the book on real-time plant health status monitoring. Read More
StewardshipCCAs Making Headway With 4R Program In Lake Erie Wester…
September 9, 2014
Certified Crop Advisers are implementing the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification program in Lake Erie's Western Basin to improve water quality. Read More
MicronutrientsMicronutrients Going Macro
September 9, 2014
Between 2014’s fantastic growing conditions and a heightened awareness on plant nutrition, the major players in micronutrients are gearing up for another big year. Read More
Crop InputsFMC Announces Cheminova Takeover
September 8, 2014
FMC Corporation today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Cheminova, a wholly owned subsidiary of Auriga Industries. Read More