monsanto

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

Five of the six biggest companies that produce and sell seeds and chemicals to the world’s farmers are pursuing deals that could leave a market dominated by just three giant, global companies. They say getting bigger means bringing more sophisticated and innovative solutions to farmers faster, but opponents say consolidation has irreversible downsides.

 


Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

The massive industry that supplies farmers with the tools to raise crops is on the brink of a watershed moment. High-profile deals that would see some of the largest global agri-chemical companies combine are in the works and could have ripple effects from farm fields to dinner tables across the globe.

 

Frank Morris / Harvest Public Media

Like most farmers, Mark Nelson, who grows corn, soybeans and wheat near Louisburg, Kan., is getting squeezed. He's paying three times more for seed than he used to, while his corn sells for less than half what it brought four years ago.

 

"It's a – that's a challenge," Nelson says. "You're not going to be in the black, let's put it that way."

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

Top officials for Monsanto and Bayer are defending their proposed $66 billion merger as a deal that could help American farmers through greater investments in technology. They made the case Tuesday to skeptical senators worried the merger could hurt American farmers already struggling with lower crop prices and higher seed costs.

The combination of the American seed and weed-killer and German medicine and farm-chemical maker would create a global agricultural and chemical giant with a broad array of products.

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

 

   The Senate is set to take a closer look at a proposed $66 billion merger of American seed and weed-killer company Monsanto and German medicine and farm chemical maker Bayer.

The deal combines two of the six U.S. and European companies that dominate the agrochemical market, and would create a global agricultural and chemical giant with a broad array of products. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley of Iowa has said he's concerned that the consolidation could hurt American farmers who are already worried about rising costs.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

 

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee plans to examine proposed mergers among agricultural chemical and seed companies in a September hearing.

With Chinese chemical giant ChemChina in talks to buy Syngenta, merger discussions ongoing between Dow and DuPont, anBayer and Monsantoapparently inching toward a deal, regulators and lawmakers are worrying about decreased competition and higher prices for farmers.

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

A St. Louis jury ordered Monsanto and three other companies to pay more than $46 million to three people in a suit alleging negligence in the production of PCBs.

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

Bayer says it looks forward to holding merger talks with Monsanto, after the St. Louis company said earlier it would consider a higher bid.

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

German drug and chemicals company Bayer AG says it has made a $62 billion offer to buy U.S.-based crops and seeds specialist Monsanto Company.

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

German drug and chemicals company Bayer AG says it has entered talks with the Monsanto Company about the possible acquisition of the U.S.-based specialist in genetically modified crop seeds.

Kristofor Husted/Harvest Public Media

After the patent on one of the most popular versions of genetically engineered soybeans expired this year, U.S. universities are creating new generic GMO soybean varieties, many of which are designed to guard against specific, local pests.

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

Monsanto Co. plans to make its operations carbon neutral by 2021.

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

Agricultural business giant Monsanto is abandoning its takeover bid for competitor Syngenta AG after the Swiss chemical producer rejected its latest offer of roughly $47 billion.

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

The Chipotle Cultivate Festival had it all: an indie pop band on stage, long lines at the beer booths, folks hanging out on a hot summer day.

Sort of like a Grateful Dead concert, only with free burritos.

 

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company, is attempting to swallow up the chemical operations of Syngenta, the world’s largest producer of pesticides and other farm inputs. The proposed deal signals a change in focus for the agricultural giant, and could have ripple effects across farm country.

By its own admission, Monsanto lags behind in chemistry research. To boost its research in chemistry, and possibly find new ways to combine chemicals and biotech crops, Monsanto wants to buy the Swiss chemical company.

 

As you’ve probably heard, a well-respected group of World Health Organization scientists said glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s wildly popular Roundup herbicide and its generic cousins, is probably capable of causing cancer in humans.

St. Louis-based Monsanto lined up its experts for a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, to challenge last week’s determination by a World Health Organization committee that the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weed killer could be dangerous to people with frequent exposure. 

A team of 17 cancer experts assembled by the World Health Organization has ruled the most commonly used herbicide a “probable carcinogen.”

Monsanto will continue selling soybean seeds coated with pesticides that have been linked to honey bee deaths, even though the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found the seeds do not improve yields.

The seeds in question are treated with a class of chemicals called neonicotinoids, which are chemically similar to nicotine.

monsanto
stevecadman / Flickr

A federal judge has denied a motion for a new trial from a north Mississippi company sued by Missouri-based Monsanto for saving seeds from one harvest and planting them the following season.

U.S. District Judge Michael Mills ruled this week that Mitchell and Eddie Scruggs owe Monsanto Co. $6.3 million damages as a jury found in 2010. Prejudgment interest dating back to 2000 has increased the amount to $8.9 million.

Monsanto breaking ground on Chesterfield project

Oct 22, 2013
monsanto
stevecadman / Flickr

A $400 million expansion announced by Monsanto in April is starting in earnest with a ceremonial groundbreaking at the Chesterfield research center site.

The agricultural products company says it expects to bring 675 new jobs to the region over the next three years.

Gov. Jay Nixon was scheduled to join Monsanto officials at the ceremony Tuesday, just as he did when the company first unveiled the project at an international biotechnology conference in Chicago.

monsanto
stevecadman / Flickr

 

Monsanto says its financial loss widened in the agribusiness giant's fiscal fourth quarter as sales of biotech seeds dropped.

Grace Hood / KUNC

When unapproved genetically modified wheat was found growing in Oregon earlier this year, it didn’t take long for accusations about how it ended up there to start flying. A flurry of initial finger-pointing cast potential blame on a federal seed vault in Fort Collins, Colo., which housed the same strain of wheat, developed by Monsanto Corp., for about seven years up until late 2011.

Hazel Motes / flickr

 

 

Missouri state appeals court has ruled that a jury should decide whether a former subsidiary of Monsanto that manufactured toxic chemicals is responsible for illnesses caused by the widespread use of those chemicals in everyday products.

Who wants biotech wheat?

Jul 3, 2013
Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

Many farmers say they would like to grow genetically engineered wheat to help them feed a hungry world, but it’s not what everyone’s hungry for. And now, with the mysterious appearance of Roundup Ready wheat in a farmer’s field in Oregon a few weeks ago, consumer resistance may grow even stronger.

Most of the corn and soybeans grown in the United States are genetically modified, but GMO wheat has never been approved for farming.

A Monsanto researcher is one of the winners of the 2013 World Food Prize.

Monsanto Chief Technology Officer Robert Fraley will share the international honor with Mary-Dell Chilton of Syngenta and Belgian plant scientist Marc Van Montagu.

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stevecadman / Flickr

The Boone County Fire Department and the food pantry in Sturgeon both received unexpected $2,500 donations this week. 

monsanto
stevecadman / Flickr

Monsanto Co. plans a $400 million expansion at its suburban St. Louis research center that could add 675 jobs over the next three years.

Seed companies fight to maintain independence

Apr 18, 2013
Bill Wheelhouse / Harvest Public Media

The window in Tom Burrus’ office gives him a good look at the wide expanse of Illinois River bottomland where his company produces seed corn for farmers across Illinois, Missouri, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

This week, we’ll hear from Harvest Public Media’s Science of the Seed Series.

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