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What’s up at Monsanto

  • 01

    Earlier this month, Monsanto invited agricultural media members to tour its Chesterfield, Missouri, research site. Here’s a look at some of the products and methods it uses to help you better grow crops.

  • 02

    Farmers are increasingly using seed treatments to protect seeds and seedlings against early-season and insects. Mike Migliazzo, Monsanto seed treatment scientist, discussed Monsanto’s Acceleron seed treatments for corn and soybeans.

  • 03

    Seed treatments fend off early season stressors for 35 to 45 days, says Migliazzo. This helps get plants get off to a good start, and particularly aids seeds and seedlings in a cold and damp spring like 2013, he adds.

  • 04

    Phytophthora root rot (PRR) is a devastating soybean disease, says Leigh Ann Harrison, a Monsanto soybean pathologist. Genetic resistance is one way to deter this disease. Genetic resistance gives 100% resistance against a specific race.

  • 05

    There can be numerous Phytophthora races in a field, though. It’s impossible to provide 100% resistance against all races present in a field. That’s why Monsanto scientists equip soybean varieties with PRR field tolerance. This provides partial protection against all races in a field, and enable a soybean variety to still yield satisfactorily.

  • 06

    The firm’s plant breeders use the Monsanto Seed Chipper to product top performing soybean varieties, says Alejandro Hernandez, a Monsanto soybean breeder. Scientists use the seed chipper to remove a small chip from each soybean seed. This preserves the seed’s future ability to grow, while giving scientists a chance to analyze the chip’s DNA in a genotyping lab. The chip enables breeders to determine which characteristics the plant will have at maturity.

  • 07

    Besides ensuring greater success early in varietal development stage, it enables new genetic innovations to hit farmers’ fields two year faster than traditional breeding methods allow.

  • 08

    Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is a major soybean pest that can slice yields up to 40%, says Susannah Cooper, a Monsanto nematologist. There can be up to 400 SCN eggs in a cyst that hatch in a soybean root.

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