CropLife 100: Monsanto And The Unknown

We are only about one week away from Halloween, the annual scare fest that seems to rank slightly behind Christmas in popularity among the masses. For a few weeks now, TV channels have been showing various horror movies, from modern ones such as Friday the 13th to classics such as Frankenstein.

For me, though, the scariest horror movie has to be the original The Haunting. A black-and-white classic, this movie scares by basically not beating its viewer over the head with monster images. Instead, The Haunting uses implied horror – a door “breathing” (what could be on the other side?) or a close-up of one character’s hand posed in a way that it was clearly holding something, but the nearest other character was half a room away at the time (“whose hand was I holding?” thinks the character). Sometimes, the unseen/unknown is scarier than the seen/known.

This brings me to my next preview of this year’s CropLife 100 survey. You might remember that back in August, Monsanto Co. announced plans to begin providing agronomic recommendations to growers for variety hybrid selections and plant populations. Since then, ag retailers have been openly debating what this market move could mean for their businesses, without much consensus.

So, naturally, we asked CropLife 100 retailers what they thought. Again, the feelings are very mixed. Twenty-five percent say the Monsanto program should have no impact on their businesses while 16% think it will help them. Twenty-one percent think the program could be a threat to their operations, with another 8% describing the Monsanto program as “serious threat.”

Still, the vast majority – 30% – are not sure what the Monsanto program will mean. To them, it is as complete an unknown as what was on the other side of the door in The Haunting. Only time will tell if we end up seeing what’s ultimately lurking there and what it will mean ag retailers.

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