US Monsanto approaches ‘technology explosion’ in crop R&D - CEO

13 August 2009 17:52  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--US agricultural firm Monsanto’s research and development (R&D) pipeline is approaching a breakthrough on several projects that will improve yields for corn, soybeans and cotton, CEO Hugh Grant said on Thursday.

“We're on the verge of an unprecedented technology explosion that will deliver the types of products growers want most - those that offer greater yield and value," Grant said.

"We have committed to using our technology to double yields in our three core crops - corn, soybeans and cotton - by 2030, while reducing our use of key resources by one-third per unit produced,” he said.

Grant pointed to seven new seed and biotechnology projects to improve farmers’ yields that could generate some $3bn (€2.1bn) in incremental gross revenues by 2020 for Monsanto.

The projects include traits from the drought-tolerant corn family; the broad-acre, higher-yielding corn and soybean families; and the nitrogen-utilisation corn family, all of which are part of Monsanto's collaboration with Germany’s BASF, Grant said.

Grant also said the company was on track to expand the seeds and traits side of its business at a 20% compound annual growth rate from 2007 to 2012.

He reaffirmed the company's commitment to double 2007 gross profit by 2012.

By 2012, Grant said seeds and traits are expected to reach $7.3 to $7.5bn of gross profit, up by about 2.5 times from 2007.

($1 = €0.70)

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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