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

Crop InputsPlatform Specialty Products To Acquire Arysta LifeScience
October 20, 2014
Once the acquisition is complete, Platform Specialty Products will combine Arysta LifeScience with previously acquired companies Agriphar and Chemtura Crop Solutions. 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
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

Trending Articles

HerbicidesAdjusting To The New Reality Of Weed Control
November 4, 2014
Even with new cropping systems being readied for market introductions, weed control will remain a challenge for many. Read More
StewardshipResponsibleAg Begins Auditor Training
October 31, 2014
ResponsibleAg auditor training is now underway at the Ford B. West Center for Responsible Agriculture in Owensboro, KY. Read More
InsecticidesNew Research Study Shows The Value Of Neonics
October 29, 2014
The study evaluated seed treatment, soil and foliar uses of neonicotinoid insecticides in the U.S. and Canada. Read More
Crop InputsPlatform Specialty Products To Acquire Arysta LifeScience
October 20, 2014
Once the acquisition is complete, Platform Specialty Products will combine Arysta LifeScience with previously acquired companies Agriphar and Chemtura Crop Solutions. Read More
Seed/BiotechMonsanto Offers New Support For Ferguson, Area Communities
October 8, 2014
Monsanto Co. has committed $1 million in new support for several collaborative efforts in Ferguson, MO, and surrounding communities in North St. Louis County. Read More
Seed/BiotechUnapproved Genetically Modified Wheat Found In Montana
October 3, 2014
USDA reports that one year after discovery of Monsanto's unapproved wheat in a single Oregon field disrupted U.S. wheat export sales, the GMO wheat has again been found in Montana. Read More

Latest News

soybean field
Crop InputsABM Patents Microbial R&D Technique
November 25, 2014
Focused Microbial Diversity (FMD) is a newly patented technique employed by Advanced Biological Marketing (ABM) to research and develop microbials that will be used in ABM products Read More
Crop InputsStorage Options Help Grain Growers Go To Market
November 24, 2014
While on-farm storage in a traditional upright storage bin is one possibility for storing grain, it may not be for everyone. Read More
Eric SfiligojGiving Thanks For Another Great Year
November 24, 2014
As Thanksgiving Day 2014 arrives, agriculture has plenty to be thankful for. Read More
Crop InputsSyngenta Cost-Cutting Program To Affect 1,800 Jobs
November 24, 2014
The company's Accelerating Operational Leverage program will result in job reductions and relocations totaling around 1,800 across the company, the majority of which will occur in 2015. Read More
EquipmentAGCO Announces Operator Of The Year Finalists
November 20, 2014
Four custom applicators have been selected by AGCO Application Equipment as finalists for 2014 Operator of the Year, an honor that recognizes them as being among the top professionals in their industry throughout North America. Read More
MicronutrientsH.J. Baker Expands Tiger-Sul Business
November 20, 2014
H.J. Baker has created and filled two strategic positions in business development and sales within its Crop Performance Division. Read More
soybean field
FertilizerGeneral Mills Honors United Suppliers For Nitrogen Opti…
November 19, 2014
United Suppliers winning proposal detailed SUSTAIN, a consulting network that provides customized products and services for farmers using a needs-based system approach. Read More
EmployeesOhio AgriBusiness Association Awards $25,000 In Scholar…
November 19, 2014
Each year, the Ohio AgriBusiness Association Educational Trust scholarship program awards scholarship dollars to students enrolled in an agriculture-related field attending several state colleges. Read More
ManagementServi-Tech Names New CEO
November 17, 2014
Servi-Tech has named Greg Ruehle its new president and CEO. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Ag Acquires Colorado Aerial Application Outlet
November 17, 2014
Ft. Lupton, CO-based Reck Aviation — a full-service chemical application company providing aerial crop applications of fertilizers and crop protection products — will operate as part of Pinnacle's AgOne Application Services brand. Read More
Eric SfiligojMcDonald’s Message: Biotech Crops Scarier Than Cancer
November 17, 2014
Despite their potential health benefits, one of the world’s largest potato users will pass on a new biotech offering. Read More
MicronutrientsWinField Releases 2014 NutriSolutions Results
November 14, 2014
A number of significant regional and national crop deficiency trends emerged from the 2014 WinField NutriSolutions tissue sampling program. Read More
FertilizerH.J. Baker Opens Chinese Production Lines
November 14, 2014
The occasion was the official launch of the Tiger-Sul sulphur Bentonite production line of two much anticipated fertilizer products in China, T90CR sulphur fertilizer and TZinc micronutrient enhanced sulphur fertilizer. Read More
ManagementOhio Certified Crop Adviser Program Accepting Nominatio…
November 14, 2014
The award recognizes an individual who delivers exceptional customer service for farmer clients in nutrient management, soil and water management, integrated pest management and crop production in Ohio. Read More
HerbicidesSyngenta Announces Acuron Trial Plot Results
November 14, 2014
Acuron was tested at 167 trial locations across 35 states. Trials included 95 Syngenta locations, 54 university locations and 18 distributor locations. Read More
Crop InputsVerdesian Expands Sales Force
November 13, 2014
The new sales representatives will work with growers, retail partners and distributors to oversee technical training and product education. Read More
EquipmentAGCO Raises $100K For Wounded Warrior Project
November 13, 2014
AGCO Corp. partnered with local AGCO dealers across the U.S. and Canada to raise nearly $100,000 in support of wounded service veterans. Read More
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences Announces Launch Of Enlist Duo Herbici…
November 12, 2014
It will be launched in conjunction with a stewarded introduction of Enlist corn, and seed production of Enlist soybeans in 2015. Read More