Molecular Breeding Technology To Advance Asgrow® Soybean Yield Performance

ST. LOUIS, Mo., Feb. 1, 2008 – Monsanto scientists are using molecular breeding tools to accelerate improvements in agronomic performance and higher yield potential for Asgrow® soybeans.

Bob Buehler, global soybean breeding lead for Monsanto, said almost every Asgrow variety developed in the past several years has incorporated physical traits to provide disease and pest tolerance, which in turn can enhance yield potential.

As a result, the Asgrow '08 Elites yielded 2.5 bushels more per acre – the equivalent of a $30 per acre revenue advantage1 – compared to other leading soybean brands in Monsanto field trials.

Buehler said future Asgrow lines will be developed using molecular breeding, which can increase the rate of genetic gain. Breeders rely on DNA markers to achieve improvements in important characteristics such as yield and tolerance to environmental stress.

"Molecular breeding improves the predictability and efficiency of the breeding process, so that we can provide farmers with faster access to new, high-performing soybean products," Buehler said.

This season, Asgrow is introducing 16 new Elite products, all high-performing soybeans providing farmers with excellent yield potential and consistent performance and plant health. Asgrow purity specialists take extra steps at the onset of the breeding process to provide soybean farmers with "better beans" that have the genetic purity and consistency to deliver higher yield potential at harvest.

"These breeding advances not only result in higher yield and profit potential for farmers, but just as importantly, will help the soybean industry meet the growing demand for vegetable oils from the food and biodiesel industries," said Jerry Devore, Soybean Marketing Manager for Monsanto.

Growers can obtain more information about the Asgrow '08 Elites at or by contacting their Asgrow seed dealer.

1 Based on $12 per bushel cash soybean price

Always read and follow pesticide label directions. Asgrow® is a registered trademark of Monsanto Technology LLC. ©2008 Monsanto Company.