Monsanto Announces Nine Project Advancements in Annual Research and Development Pipeline Update
ST. LOUIS, Jan. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Several projects across platforms and crops designed to improve farmers’ on-farm productivity and profitability advanced phases today as part of Monsanto Company’s (NYSE: MON) annual pipeline update.
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The company highlighted, in particular, key projects in its yield and stress pipeline collaboration with Germany-based BASF Plant Science, which last year was expanded to include wheat. Yield and stress projects advancing phases this year include Nitrogen-Utilization Corn, Second-Generation Higher-Yielding Soybeans and Higher-Yielding/Stress Tolerant Wheat.
Following last year’s record-breaking 11 project advancements, this year’s nine advances are testament to the depth of the company’s research and development (R&D) pipeline. Additionally, four of the advancements are new projects that were added to the pipeline, demonstrating that discovery work brings new opportunities.
“Our competitive R&D advantage comes because we identify needs in the marketplace and turn research into great products for farmers, and that allows us to create value,” said Robb Fraley, Monsanto chief technology officer. “We continue to invest in significant crop opportunities with a balanced approach in our breeding and biotech platforms. This approach puts us in the best position to extend our leadership and continue to deliver commercial products that benefit our farmer customers.”
Using a combination of the latest breeding and biotechnology tools and techniques and the company’s elite global germplasm base, Monsanto researchers are steadfast in their efforts to develop and deliver products that can help farmers produce more on each acre.
The following products advance phases in 2011.
Yield and Stress Projects – in Collaboration with BASF
Monsanto and BASF Plant Science announced key project advancements demonstrating the success of the yield and stress collaboration.
- Nitrogen-Utilization Corn (Advanced to Phase 2) – Nitrogen-Utilization Corn targets ways corn plants can use nitrogen more efficiently, exploring the potential to boost yield under normal nitrogen conditions or to stabilize yield in low nitrogen environments.
- Second-Generation Higher-Yielding Soybeans (Advanced to Phase 2) – When stacked with the first-generation soybean yield product and the higher yield opportunity of GenuityÃ‚® Roundup Ready 2 YieldÃ‚®, this product is designed to deliver improved yield compared with first-generation higher-yielding soybean varieties.
- Higher-Yielding/Stress Tolerant Wheat (in collaboration with BASF) and Herbicide-Tolerant Wheat (Both advanced to Phase 1) – Wheat has historically seen a lack of investment in technology compared to other crops. Since acquiring the WestBredÃ‚® brand in 2009, Monsanto has been committed to enhancing the productivity, sustainability and profitability of wheat by improving yield and grain quality. Wheat yield and stress technology, which would be stacked with herbicide-tolerance traits to offer multiple modes of weed control, would offer growers better yield potential under average stress growing conditions.
The Monsanto and BASF Plant Science collaboration was initiated in 2007 to jointly develop traits to improve farm productivity and profitability in corn, soybeans, cotton and canola. The collaboration was expanded in 2010 to include wheat.
“The advances in development show that we chose the right path in our partnership with Monsanto,” said Peter Eckes, President of BASF Plant Science. “BASF is confident that our genes will result in crops that produce significantly better yields and that we will be able to make these available to farmers in the future.”
Agronomic Traits Projects
- RoundupÃ‚® Hybridization System (Advanced to Phase 4) – The RoundupÃ‚® Hybridization System (RHS) is designed to replace detasseling in hybrid seed corn production, thus reducing seed manufacturing costs.
- RoundupÃ‚® Hybridization System II (Advanced to Phase 1) – The second-generation RoundupÃ‚® Hybridization System II (RHS II) is designed to replace detasseling in hybrid seed corn production and increase seed yield in production, further reducing the cost of goods.
- Dicamba-Tolerant Soybeans (Advanced to Phase 4) – The addition of dicamba-tolerance to the GenuityÃ‚® Roundup Ready 2 YieldÃ‚® soybean platform would enable the use of dicamba and glyphosate for pre-plant burndown and in-season weed control, resulting in an effective and high yielding weed management system.
- Second-Generation Insect Protected Soybeans (Advanced to Phase 2) – This pipeline product is the second generation of insect-protected soybeans using Bt technology widely adopted in corn and cotton to control economically significant insect pests in Brazil. This product would broaden the spectrum of insect control and durability of the trait compared to the first-generation product.
- Dicamba-Tolerant Canola (Advanced to Phase 1) – Dicamba-tolerance, when stacked with Roundup ReadyÃ‚® technology, is designed to add an additional herbicide mode of action, which would enhance the flexibility for weed control options available for canola growers.
Information for Reporters
Monsanto will hold a conference call for media in conjunction with today’s pipeline announcement at 10 a.m. (Central Time). To participate, dial 877-407-8037 (toll-free) or 201-689-8037 (international). Slides for the call are posted online at http://www.monsanto.com/products/Pages/research-development-pipeline.aspx. Audio and video files also are available for reporter use at http://www.monsanto.com/newsviews/Pages/pipeline-update-audio-downloads.aspx.
About Monsanto Company
Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world’s natural resources such as water and energy. To learn more about our business and our commitments, please visit: www.monsanto.com. Follow our business on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MonsantoCo, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MonsantoCo, or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.
About BASF Plant Science
BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics and performance products to agricultural products, fine chemicals as well as oil and gas. BASF Plant Science – a BASF group company – is one of the world’s leading companies providing innovative plant biotechnology solutions for agriculture. Today, about 700 employees are helping farmers meet the growing demand for improved agricultural productivity and healthier nutrition for humans and animals. Jointly with leading partners in the seed industry BASF Plant Science is commercializing its products. Current projects include higher yielding row crops, nutritionally-enhanced corn for animal feed or higher content of Omega-3′s in oil crops for preventing cardiovascular diseases. To find out more about BASF Plant Science, please visit www.basf.com/plantscience.
Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward-Looking Information
Certain statements contained in this release are “forward-looking statements,” such as statements concerning the company’s anticipated financial results, current and future product performance, regulatory approvals, business and financial plans and other non-historical facts. These statements are based on current expectations and currently available information. However, since these statements are based on factors that involve risks and uncertainties, the company’s actual performance and results may differ materially from those described or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, among others: continued competition in seeds, traits and agricultural chemicals; the company’s exposure to various contingencies, including those related to intellectual property protection, regulatory compliance and the speed with which approvals are received, and public acceptance of biotechnology products; the success of the company’s research and development activities; the outcomes of major lawsuits; developments related to foreign currencies and economies; successful operation of recent acquisitions; fluctuations in commodity prices; compliance with regulations affecting our manufacturing; the accuracy of the company’s estimates related to distribution inventory levels; the company’s ability to fund its short-term financing needs and to obtain payment for the products that it sells; the effect of weather conditions, natural disasters and accidents on the agriculture business or the company’s facilities; and other risks and factors detailed in the company’s most recent Form 10-K Report to the SEC. Undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements, which are current only as of the date of this release. The company disclaims any current intention or obligation to update any forward-looking statements or any of the factors that may affect actual results.
CONTACT Media: Sara Miller, 314-694-5824
SOURCE Monsanto Company