Monsanto Co. has completed regulatory submissions in the U.S. and Canada for the world’s first biotech drought-tolerant corn product developed together with BASF, bringing the technology one step closer to your grower-customers’ fields.
The company applied for USDA approval of its drought-tolerant corn product following its submission to the Food and Drug Administration last December. It also has completed submissions to the relevant Canadian agencies. Regulatory submissions in key import markets such as Japan, Mexico, and Korea, will be made in the next several months.
Drought-tolerant corn is designed to provide growers yield stability during periods when water supply is scarce by mitigating its effects on a corn plant. Field trials for drought-tolerant corn conducted last year in the Western Great Plains met or exceeded the 6 percent to 10 percent target yield enhancement — about 7 bushels per acre (bu/A) to 10 bu/A — over the average yield of 70 bu/A to 130 bu/A in some of the key drought-prone areas in the U.S.
In any given year, 10 million to 13 million acres of farmland planted to corn in the U.S. may be affected by at least moderate drought. The additive gain from drought-tolerant corn builds upon the yield benefit already realized from the company’s initial ag biotech trait offerings such as insect protection and herbicide tolerance.
Drought-tolerant corn technology is part of Monsanto’s R&D and commercialization collaboration in plant biotechnology with Germany-based BASF. The two companies are jointly contributing $1.5 billion over the life of the collaboration, which is aimed at developing higher-yielding crops and crops more tolerant to adverse environmental conditions such as drought.
The anticipated market launch is around 2012, pending regulatory approvals.