A Challenge To All

Nervous excitement. That’s the best way I can express what I saw at the Farm Progress Show last month. For some time, we — and I am sure many of you — have been anticipating the next big wave of biotechnology innovations. At the farm shows just a couple of years ago, companies were talking about a sort of “quiet period” for biotechnology. There were plenty of promises, sneak peeks, and sabre rattling about what was coming up, but it was much more sizzle than steak.

Get ready — the filet mignon is about to be served.

If you’re reading this after having read the cover story, then you’ve got a pretty clear picture of what’s on the near term horizon — lots of new offerings that will broaden the choices we have for managing weed and insect resistance, which is great news. And in the medium and longer term, we can look forward to even more new generation traits that will provide the seed with even greater abilities to resist Mother Nature’s challenges, improving performance and yield potential. Outstanding.

But back to the nervous excitement. One of the highlights of our visit to Farm Progress was taking a tour of the Monsanto display area, guided by the Chief Technology Officer himself, Robb Fraley. Now, Monsanto has made it a habit to make good on its promises to agriculture — indeed, Roundup Ready soybeans and insect-protected corn did turn agriculture crossways, taking billions of dollars out of the market (and out of your coffers as well).

Today, Monsanto’s promise — delivered by Fraley and his crew at Farm Progress — is even more sweeping: Double the year 2000’s average yield for corn and soybeans yields by 2030. The crystal clear mandate was echoed by each employee at each stop along Monsanto’s display — clearly, the message is already ingrained in the culture. But I would add a small phrase to the end of the corporate message to benefit all of you who did not get to Farm Progress: “By any means necessary.”

The display featured two impressive machines brought up from St. Louis, one performing soybean genome analysis and the second demonstrating how individual seeds are analyzed for their genetic contents at breakneck speed. Another section was a virtual museum of corn and soybean seed development, demonstrating the yield gains achieved from the earliest varieties and hybrids to today.

But it was the finale I found most fascinating: Monsanto is doing deep field research using precision agriculture, and has developed proprietary remote soil analysis software and prescription planting tools that growers will be able to use in the future.

Fraley and his folks have recognized that the genetics will get them most of the way to their goal, but they can’t get all the way there without solid agronomic recommendations. And they clearly intend to make a significant impact in that arena.

Nervous excitement, indeed. We’ve seen agriculture reinvent itself in a bit more than a decade. More reinvention is on the horizon. As the service provider and trusted advisor to the grower, you’ll need to ensure you’re deepening grower relationships and providing valuable and relevant services to clients. This is a challenge we all will face as we find our place in the next wave of biotechnology.

Leave a Reply

Latest News
ManagementWashington Update, Dow-DuPont Earnings, and the Passing…
April 27, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about the latest Beltway news, crop protection company 1st quarter numbers, and the Read More
BRANDT
CropLife 100Former PotashCorp COO Joins BRANDT Board
April 27, 2017
BRANDT has announced the appointment of another industry veteran to its board of directors. David Delaney, most recently EVP and Read More
Syngenta headquarters in Basel, Switzerland
Crop InputsFortune: Inside China’s $43 Billion Bid for Food …
April 26, 2017
(Via Fortune.com) The worst famine in human history occurred in China from 1959 to 1961. An estimated 34 million people Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsSyngenta Announces Changes in Board of Directors
April 26, 2017
ChemChina and Syngenta announced changes relating to the new Board of Directors of Syngenta following the closing of the ChemChina Read More
Crop InputsBioSafe Systems Introduces PerCarb Broad-Spectrum Bacte…
April 26, 2017
BioSafe Systems announces PerCarb (Sodium Carbonate Peroxyhydrate), a new alternative to potassium bicarbonate and lime sulfur products for use in Read More
Deere Twitter
EquipmentTop 10 Twitter Pics for #Plant17
April 26, 2017
Despite some wet weather in parts of the Midwest, growers and ag retailers are working feverishly to plant this year’s Read More
Donald Trump
Crop InputsTrump Targets Agriculture with Latest Executive Order
April 26, 2017
(Via UPI.com) President Donald Trump on Tuesday took executive action in an effort to help grow the domestic agriculture industry Read More
AGCO Ratliff featured
EquipmentAGCO Mourns Passing of Company Founder, Industry Vision…
April 25, 2017
AGCO Corp., a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment and solutions, mourns the passing of founder and former President, Read More
Engenia soybeans
Crop InputsINNVICTIS CROP CARE Introduces VANDAL MOC Soybean Herbi…
April 25, 2017
INNVICTIS CROP CARE, LLC has announced the U.S. EPA registration for VANDAL MOC, a combination of sulfentrazone plus metolachlor. VANDAL Read More
Kochia
HerbicidesINNVICTIS CROP CARE Launches STAVE Post-Emerge Broadlea…
April 25, 2017
INNVICTIS CROP CARE, LLC has introduced STAVE as the newest addition to­ its expanding portfolio. STAVE will be a great Read More
Sonny Perdue
LegislationSonny Perdue Confirmed by Senate as Next Agriculture Se…
April 25, 2017
After months without a secretary of agriculture, the Senate voted Monday evening to confirm former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to Read More
BPIA logo
Seed/BiotechBPIA Files Comments with USDA
April 24, 2017
The Biological Products Industry Alliance (BPIA) has filed comments with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Plant Read More
Eric SfiligojHope for Application Equipment Sales
April 24, 2017
The old saying goes that a “rising tide lifts all boats.” If this is indeed the case, then things may Read More
Stewardship video screenshot
ManagementNew Video Raises Awareness of 2,4-D Stewardship
April 24, 2017
A new public service video developed and produced by the 2,4-D Research Task Force, in conjunction with the American Soybean Read More
ManagementAn Inside Look at Award Winning Ag Retailer Gar Tooteli…
April 20, 2017
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj discusses An Inside Look at Award Winning Ag Retailer Gar Tootelian Read More
Students Soybean Field
Industry NewsMACA Announces 2017 Young Leader Scholarship Recipients
April 19, 2017
The Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) Board of Directors selected 11 college students to receive the MACA Young Leader Scholarship Read More
Growmark FS Outlet
SoftwareKnoa Software Solution Helps GROWMARK Boost System Perf…
April 19, 2017
Knoa Software, a leading provider of user experience management (UEM) software, has announced that GROWMARK, Inc., a regional agricultural cooperative Read More
Crop InputsFBN Publishes ‘Voice of the Farmer’ Agricul…
April 17, 2017
Farmer’s Business Network (FBN) released today its “The Voice of the Farmer”, which the company is describing as “a special Read More