NEW YORK — Final harvest data for the 2012 U.S. growing
season confirmed that Monsanto Co. corn and soybean products maintained a
significant yield advantage compared to competitors, despite one of the most
difficult growing seasons on record, Chief Technology Officer Robb Fraley told
investors at Citi’s Fifth Annual Basic Materials Symposium in New York.
Highlighting the expansion and integration of the company’s
research and development platforms, Fraley noted Monsanto is uniquely positioned
to deliver the best total yield package for farmers.
Fraley presented final 2012 harvest results, highlighting
updated yield data for the company’s corn platform, Genuity Roundup Ready 2
Yield soybean performance data and new results from its Integrated Farming
Systems on-farm research.
“Monsanto is committed to developing innovative, sustainable
agriculture products that deliver outstanding yield,” he said. “This season’s
strong results, even against the backdrop of the devastating drought we
witnessed throughout the country, reinforce our ability to deliver on our
commitments to our farmer customers, and we look forward to providing an even
stronger toolkit of solutions in the future.”
In its fourth year of deployment, Genuity Roundup Ready 2
Yield products extended their yield advantage versus competitive
first-generation Roundup Ready soybeans, achieving a more than 4.5 bushels per
acre national yield advantage, Fraley said.
With their highest yield advantage since commercial
introduction, Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans demonstrated strong
performance in every major growing region, reflecting the broad availability of
more than 300 varieties as the company reached critical mass in its portfolio
The company expects the Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield
platform growth to continue, with another step up in total acres in 2013.
Fraley added that the soybean platform is set to deliver
more growth in the coming years, including the addition of both Intacta RR2 PRO
and Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans, each representing a significant global
The Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System is intended to offer
more consistent, flexible control of weeds, especially tough-to-manage and
glyphosate-resistant weeds, Fraley noted, adding that the system is on track for
Ground Breakers on-farm field trials under permit next season and introduction
to U.S. soybean farmers in 2014, pending regulatory approval.
“Building on the success of the Genuity Roundup Ready 2
Yield platform, we’re preparing to enter the next phase of innovation in
soybeans,” he said.
“Through the combination of an expanding stacked-trait
platform, the acceleration of breeding improvements and the addition of improved
agronomic practices, this is the deepest soybean pipeline I’ve seen in my career
and one that will continue to deliver additional value to farmers.”
Fraley also highlighted final corn harvest data for the 2012
growing season, which reinforces Monsanto’s longstanding yield advantage. In
2012, DeKalb germplasm maintained its historical advantage relative to
competitive products, outperforming all competitors with an average 8.3 bushels
per acre yield advantage.
DroughtGard Hybrids also demonstrated strong performance in
2012 trials this season, with commercially projected products showing a yield
advantage of more than 5 bushels per acre over competitor hybrids in the western
Great Plains, Fraley said.
Fraley also cited the company’s progress in its newest
technology platforms, including Integrated Farming Systems.
He noted that Monsanto’s Integrated Farming Systems platform
utilizes the company’s unique understanding of hybrid and variety performance to
develop planting prescriptions that can help maximize the yield potential in
FieldScripts, which will provide a variable rate seeding
prescription and a recommendation for the best corn hybrid to use in a farmer’s
field, will be the first commercial product from the Integrated Farming Systems
platform, Fraley added.
“We have seen consistent yield gains when farmers use
FieldScripts,” he said.
“In fact, farmers who tested FieldScripts this season
achieved an additional 5 to 10 bushels per acre advantage. This is exciting
technology and one I believe has the opportunity to significantly increase