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
Crop InputsArkansas Plant Board Votes to Ban Dicamba — Now W…
June 23, 2017
The Arkansas State Plant Board has voted to pass a proposed emergency rule to ban the use of in-crop dicamba, Read More
Engenia soybeans
Crop InputsBASF: ‘Closely Monitoring’ Dicamba Situatio…
June 22, 2017
BASF, whose Engenia herbicide is the target of more than 200 drift complaints in Arkansas, emailed the following statement to Read More
ManagementConsolidation Update
June 22, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss progress on manufacturer consolidation, and another big move for Midwest cooperative Central Valley Read More
Palmer pigweed seedhead in cotton
Crop InputsThreat of Dicamba Ban Looms in Arkansas
June 22, 2017
The Arkansas State Plant Board has rejected a proposed ban on the use of dicamba herbicide, but a procedural error Read More
Potash Agrium
Crop InputsAgrium-PotashCorp to become Nutrien upon Merger Complet…
June 21, 2017
Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. and Agrium Inc. have announced today that once the anticipated merger transaction closes, the new Read More
Crop InputsMidwestern BioAg Hosts TerraNu Fertilizer Plant Opening…
June 20, 2017
Last Friday, Midwestern BioAg was joined by over 80 local farmers, media and staff to celebrate the grand opening of Read More
Soybean Field
Industry NewsAligned Ag Distributors Names New President
June 19, 2017
Aligned Ag Distributors LLC announced this morning the appointment of Mary Tolke to the position of President/CEO, effective July 1. Read More
ManagementPlotting Corn, AGCO/Asmark’s Applicator Training Center…
June 15, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about their recent visits to Columbus, OH, and Bloomington, IL, along with an Read More
Seed/BiotechDow AgroSciences Announces Launch of Enlist Corn for 20…
June 14, 2017
Enlist corn will be commercially available in the U.S. for the 2018 growing season. Dow AgroSciences announced the launch today Read More
ASMARK AGCO Applicator Training Center
EmployeesAsmark, AGCO Open Training Center for Beginning Applica…
June 13, 2017
AGCO Corp. and the Asmark Institute have opened a new Applicator Training Center, created in a collaboration between the two Read More
Power to Do More Contest Winners
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences Announces Three Winners in Power to Do…
June 13, 2017
Thousands of votes have been cast and three farmers have been awarded the power to do more with a $10,000 Read More
Frogeye leaf spot
FungicidesStrobilurin-resistant Frogeye Leaf Spot Threat Looms wi…
June 13, 2017
Heavy spring rainfall throughout the South and Midwest delayed planting and created the perfect environment for diseases like frogeye leaf Read More
PrecisionAg Vision Conference
Precision AgPrecisionAg® Vision Conference: Focused on the Future
June 13, 2017
PrecisionAg® is pleased to announce the return of its PrecisionAg Vision Conference, October 10-12, 2017. Based on overwhelmingly positive response Read More
CHS St. Paul, MN fertilizer terminal
LegislationICGA Praises President Trump’s Remarks on Waterwa…
June 12, 2017
Illinois Corn Growers Association President Justin Durdan, a farmer from Utica, issued the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s comments Read More
Wheat Growers
UncategorizedWheat Growers Names Tracy Linbo as Senior Vice Presiden…
June 12, 2017
Wheat Growers has hired Tracy Linbo as Senior Vice President of Agronomy. Linbo joins Wheat Growers after having served 10 Read More
EquipmentAgTech Summit Aiming High for Modern Farming Solutions
June 12, 2017
THRIVE AgTech, in partnership with SVG Partners and Forbes, is hosting the third annual Forbes AgTech Summit June 28-29 in Read More
Central Valley Ag Randolph, NE
Precision AgLand O’Lakes Invests in EFC Systems
June 12, 2017
Land O’Lakes, Inc. has made a minority equity investment in EFC Systems, Inc., an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and precision Read More
BRANDT
Crop InputsBRANDT Products Approved for Use with New Cropping Syst…
June 12, 2017
BRANDT, a leading manufacturer of specialty products for the agriculture and turf markets, has announced that 11 BRANDT formulations have Read More