Monsanto Company announced updates of their annual Research and Development (R&D) pipeline over the past year. The company showed their commitment in giving innovative research projects to help farmers all over the world to work and meet the needs of the society while using natural resources more efficiently. The Monsanto’s pledged in creating different ways of protecting crops and promoting the different ways of engaging pests, weeds, diseases and environmental shifts resulting from climate change.
Dr. Robert Fraley, Monsato’s Chief Technology Officer, discussed about how big the role of agriculture plays in our daily lives including the world’s growing needs and how to preserve the biodiversity and the natural resources. “Science is helping us identify new solutions to help farmers and this marks a record year for our R&D pipeline – with 14 projects advancing to launch and the first unveiling for more than 35 projects in the Climate pipeline.” Fraley said.
Monsanto’s R&D platforms span five years of agricultural technology: data science, plant breeding, plant biotechnology, crop protection and agricultural biological. These platforms support sustainable agriculture practices by delivering solutions that:
- Reduce the footprint of the global agricultural production through better harvest.
The world is under great pressure due to the continuous growth of the population, resulting into expanding needs for the society. Farmers should find a way to use the agricultural land into a much more efficient way while reducing the impact of the sufficiency of needs in our natural resources. In order to solve the on-going problems, the Monsanto and the company Novozymes made an alliance to support the use of the BioYield platform – an example of this growth through expansion to new crops and development of next-generation projects that are designed to help improve yield potential by helping crops use nutrients in the soil more efficiently. While the Climate FieldView platform will allow the farmers to analyze the field data from multiple sources, including soil, field and atmosphere. This kind of research is considered as one of the most widely adopted digital agricultural platforms in the industry.
- Protect harvests from increasing threats:
Insects, weeds, diseases and environmental variables, these are some of the most notorious threats against the agricultural industry and the main reason of food loss in the field and after harvest. The Agricultural Alliance of some notable names in the industry comes up with different solutions from each specific problem.
Collaboration with Bayer, Acceleron ® Seed Applied Solutions – Enhanced Disease Control, is aimed at managing disease infections during key stages of the growing season.
Next-generation insect and weed control technologies – including Bollgard ® 3 XtendFlex ® Cotton and Fourth-Generation Herbicide-Tolerant Corn, respectively – are poised to offer farmers new ways to mitigate challenges from damaging pests and weeds. Herbicide-tolerant technologies help enable greater flexibility in weed management, including allowing farmers the ability to adopt and maintain conservation tillage practices which helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Broad, integrated solutions to address yield-limiting diseases, for example:
A package of insights to identify and predict disease vulnerability and diagnose key crop diseases are planned to be added to Climate FieldView™ offerings. Also a breeding research that aims to curb the effects of disease on both vegetables and row crops, including Downy Mildew-Resistant Lettuce and the DEKALB ® Disease Shield TM corn hybrids platform.
- Deliver Continuous improvement to Global Agricultural Production:
The Monsanto’s is not only working to protect the crops and deliver better harvest, but also to continue to improve the on-farm solutions and practices that farmers and agriculture sectors should be aware about in the global agricultural production.
The Agricultural Alliance conducted a research to promote the health of honey bees, which are critically important pollinators for our food system. Honey bee hives are routinely impacted by the Varroa mite – a threat which introduces viruses into the bee’s home and greatly reduces their numbers and productivity. Research underway at Monsanto, called BioDirect TM Technology: Bee Health VarroaControl, represents an innovative biological approach to target this devastating threat to bees.
To help more of the world’s farmers increase productivity with digital tools, the company plans to continue to grow the Climate FieldView™ platform geographically, with expansion expected in the U.S., Brazil and Canada this year – and Europe, South Africa, Australia and Argentina over the next few years.
Continued development of NemaStrike TM Technology, a novel seed-applied nematode-control solution, has demonstrated the ability to control pressure from multiple nematode species. Nematodes are one of the largest pest challenges in agriculture.
As the Monsanto and the different sectors and companies continue to produce innovative products and research for the Agricultural Industry, We can all agree that the world still has a chance to prevent the mass crisis of needs with agricultural products due to high demand of the society.
The Monsanto believes that the agricultural innovation, continuous improvements in farming practices, and collaborations across the public and private sectors can truly make a difference for farmers, the consumers they serve and the planet. (Charles Arvin E. Dantes)