ST. LOUIS, June 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- China, a major importer of U.S. corn grain and dried distillers grain solubles, has officially granted full regulatory import authorization for Monsanto Company's (NYSE: MON) MON 87460 trait, the biotechnology trait in Genuity DroughtGard Hybrids, as part of a broader series of approvals. This represents a significant step forward for technology approvals in China.
In 2012, more than 250 farmers in the Western Great Plains planted DroughtGard Hybrids on their farms as a part of Monsanto's Ground Breakers® program. In 2013, the product was introduced in the Western Great Plains under stewardship requirements. Farmers who purchased DroughtGard Hybrids for planting in 2013 signed a grain stewardship agreement committing to use the grain as on-farm feed or to sell the grain for domestic use due to pending import approvals in key export markets. With the approval in China, Monsanto will remove the grain stewardship requirements, and grain will no longer be required to remain in the domestic market.
"The import approval of this trait is great news for U.S. farmers," said Lisa Safarian, U.S. Row Crops Lead for Monsanto. "With full import approvals in key export markets, farmers can market their grain more broadly this year and plant with confidence in 2014." Safarian added, "This approval also provides expanded access to another tool that can help farmers more sustainably manage their risk."
The Genuity DroughtGard Hybrids system combines germplasm selected for its drought-tolerance characteristics, the drought-tolerance biotechnology trait and agronomic recommendations. The system is designed to help the corn plant use less water when drought stress occurs. This improved hydro-efficiency creates the opportunity to conserve soil moisture and can help reduce yield loss from drought conditions, while also maintaining top-end yield potential under normal, well watered conditions. Monsanto's DEKALB® DroughtGard Hybrids have consistently shown about a five bushel per acre yield advantage over competitors' products.
Farmers are looking forward to better protecting their yields in times of water stress. Eric Zell farms near Mitchell, South Dakota and participated in Monsanto's DroughtGard Hybrids Ground Breakers trials last year. He says he's looking forward to protecting his yields in times of water stress.
"After coming off of a very dry last season our subsoil is somewhat limited, so I'm excited to see what the DroughtGard hybrids can do for me this year in my new planting for 2013." Zell adds, "Now that I've seen some of these firsthand, and how they have worked for my farm, I think it's going to be a great product going forward. DroughtGard has given me optimism for the future to know that I can better handle dry conditions."
With a changing climate that leads to more challenging growing conditions, farmers are looking for more options to protect their yield and manage their risk. Drought tolerance is one component of Monsanto's Yield and Stress efforts to protect or improve yield and achieve more consistency of returns. Yield and nitrogen utilization traits are also in Monsanto's R&D pipeline. The drought tolerance trait in Genuity DroughtGard Hybrid's represents the first commercial offering of the company's joint R&D collaboration with BASF on yield and stress technologies.
About Monsanto Company
Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world's natural resources such as water and energy. To learn more about our business and our commitments, please visit: www.monsanto.com. Follow our business on Twitter®at www.twitter.com/MonsantoCo, on Facebook®at www.facebook.com/MonsantoCo, or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.
Forward-Looking Statements: Certain statements contained in this presentation are "forward-looking statements," such as statements concerning the company's anticipated financial results, current and future product performance, regulatory approvals, business and financial plans and other non-historical facts. These statements are based on current expectations and currently available information. However, since these statements are based on factors that involve risks and uncertainties, the company's actual performance and results may differ materially from those described or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, among others: continued competition in seeds, traits and agricultural chemicals; the company's exposure to various contingencies, including those related to intellectual property protection, regulatory compliance and the speed with which approvals are received, and public acceptance of biotechnology products; the success of the company's research and development activities; the outcomes of major lawsuits and the previously announced SEC investigation; developments related to foreign currencies and economies; successful operation of recent acquisitions; fluctuations in commodity prices; compliance with regulations affecting our manufacturing; the accuracy of the company's estimates related to distribution inventory levels; the company's ability to fund its short-term financing needs and to obtain payment for the products that it sells; the effect of weather conditions, natural disasters and accidents on the agriculture business or the company's facilities; and other risks and factors detailed in the company's most recent periodic report to the SEC. Undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements, which are current only as of the date of this presentation. The company disclaims any current intention or obligation to update any forward-looking statements or any of the factors that may affect actual results.