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Monsanto announces nine project advancements

Several projects across
platforms and crops designed to improve farmers’ on-farm productivity and
profitability advanced phases today as part of Monsanto’s annual pipeline

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 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

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

  • Second-Generation Higher-Yielding Soybeans (Advanced
    to Phase 2)

    – When stacked with the
    first-generation soybean yield product and the higher yield opportunity of Genuity
    Roundup Ready 2 Yield, 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 WestBred 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 


  • Roundup Hybridization System (Advanced to Phase 4)

    – The Roundup Hybridization System (RHS) is designed to
    replace detasseling in hybrid seed corn production, thus reducing seed manufacturing

  • Roundup Hybridization System II (Advanced to Phase 1)

    – The second-generation Roundup Hybridization System
    II (RHS II) is designed to replace detasseling in hybridseed 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 Genuity
    Roundup Ready 2 Yield 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 Ready
    technology, is designed to add an additional herbicide mode of action, which
    would enhance the flexibility for weed control options available for canola growers.  
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