Asgrow® Soybean Breeders Narrow “Finalists”

Asgrow® soybean breeders are well into the third and final year of an extensive testing program to determine which Asgrow lines will be part of the controlled commercial release of Monsanto’s new Roundup Ready 2 Yield™ technology in 2009. To date, more than 10,000 unique soybean lines have been evaluated in over 100,000 plot tests.

The goal: to combine the latest Asgrow exclusive genetics in Roundup Ready 2 Yield varieties that will offer farmers the highest yield potential and most consistent performance.

Jeff Wheeler, Asgrow Business Lead, said the process began in 2006, when more than 10,000 different Asgrow Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybean lines were planted in test plots across the U.S. Soybean breeders and field agronomists monitored and evaluated these plots on the basis of yield performance as well as agronomic characteristics, such as disease and stress tolerance, under a wide range of local conditions.

Based on the results, the top-performing 300 lines advanced to the 2007 testing program. Like finalists in a national talent competition, these candidates were once again narrowed at the end of last season – with just the top 14 Asgrow soybean lines advancing to the 2008 field trials.

“These products represent different maturities with a history of successful performance across a wide range of conditions,” Wheeler said. “This year’s testing program of local, large-scale strip trials and replicated small plot testing will validate our observations over the previous years and obtain additional local data.”

Wheeler said 2008 field tests will determine which of the top 14 lines will be included in the Asgrow Roundup Ready 2 Yield controlled commercial release in 2009. “When these new varieties are commercialized this fall, farmers can be confident that

they have been thoroughly evaluated under multiple environments and proven successful in terms of yield performance and consistency,” Wheeler said.

Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans offer the same flexible, dependable weed control and crop safety farmers currently enjoy with the Roundup Ready® soybean system, but with higher yield potential.

Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans will be available in 2009 on up to 2 million U.S. acres, mostly in geographies that support maturity groups 2 and 3. This includes all of Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio and Pennsylvania; most of Illinois and Indiana; portions of northern Missouri, Kansas and Maryland; and portions of southern Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and South Dakota.

Asgrow will be the leading provider of Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans in 2009 in both volume and number of varieties available.

This controlled commercial release will be followed in 2010 by a full-scale product launch, when Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans are expected to be offered in expanded maturity groups on 5 million to 6 million U.S. acres.