Ghent university and Bayer partner to improve soil health on farms

To improve agriculture in Europe sometimes you have to reach out and touch someone. From 29 June to 1 July 2016, agriculture and life sciences company Bayer put on its annual Forward Farming event, on a farm just outside Brussels in Belgium, to showcase a plethora of digital farm practices and technologies to invited guests. One was a joint university and Bayer project to scan the soil with digital tools to help a farmer work more efficiently and ecologically.

This two-minute video shows how precision farming helps farmer Jacob farm better and more ecologically in the Netherlands.

To be clear this story has nothing to do with the fact Bayer is trying to buy us. Monsanto also sees a future in precision farming as supported by our investment in the Climate Corporation back in 2013 and our...

Read More

Monsanto replaces vegetable seed coating with more sustainable potato starch

Tomato seeds with potato starch seed coating

Tomato seeds with potato starch seed coating that protects the seed and young plant from pests and disease. These coatings normally have colours to help identification of treated seeds and can make seed storage, handling and measurement easier.

Contrary to what many may think environmentally sustainable solutions are being developed by our researchers in Europe. Take conventional vegetable seeds for example; from tomato to onion seeds — when certain types of seed are planted on European farmland they require treatment to protect them from the environment in their nascent states. Small doses of plant protection products are applied and stick to the seeds. These are synthetic-based seed coatings...

Read More

Monsanto Is Recruiting for New Talent in Amsterdam

Are you interested in a job at an innovative, science-driven company committed to sustainable intensification of agriculture and making a balanced meal more accessible to everyone? If so, you might be interested in joining Monsanto’s new European operational centre in the Netherlands.

DSC03655As part of a two-year business transformation announced last year, Monsanto is restructuring its European operations, streamlining some sites and activities and investing in others. The creation of a new operational centre in Amsterdam is one of the biggest changes. We already employ 800 people in the Netherlands–primarily in our thriving vegetable seeds business–and are expanding a vegetable seed logistics hub in Enkhuizen.

Our Amsterdam-based team is actively recruiting for new talent in Digital Analytic...

Read More

Glyphosate: Monsanto statement on European Commission extension (EN/DE/FR/NL/ES/IT/RO)

In response to today’s action by the European Commission to only temporarily extend the authorisation of glyphosate for 18 months, Dr. Philip W. Miller, Monsanto’s vice president of global regulatory and governmental affairs, released the following statement:

Today’s decision by the European Commission to temporarily extend glyphosate’s authorisation by 18 months ensures that European farmers, municipalities, gardeners and other users will continue to have access to the herbicide glyphosate while a longer-term solution to the product’s reauthorisation is found.

 European farmers, municipalities, gardeners and other users have depended on glyphosate for 40 years as a safe, efficient and cost-effective tool for weed control...

Read More

Farmers more pessimistic about Europe’s agriculture future

A farmer uses glyphosate on barley with no till farming techniques to reduce their environmental impact.

A farmer uses glyphosate on barley with no till farming techniques to reduce his environmental impact.

The future of farming in Europe looks bleak, according to a survey of over 8,000 farmers released on 16 June 2016 by the European Farmers and European Agri-Cooperatives lobby group Copa-Cogeca. These farmers, based in 11 European Union Member States and surveyed between January and April 2016, shared their thoughts on their dissatisfaction with farming income and their disappointment of an economic turnaround. Of all the EU Member States, only farmers in Denmark and Sweden were optimistic about the current and future situation.

Currently one sign that events may get worse for European farmers is the issue around herbicides containing glyphosate...

Read More

Photo editors: That’s not Roundup they’re spraying! EN/FR

Open letter to European photo editors

Dear editor,

It has come to our attention over the past weeks and months that most European photo editors routinely choose photos of farmers spraying something that cannot possibly be Roundup or other glyphosate-based herbicides over the tops of their crops to illustrate the current public debate about the use of glyphosate in agriculture. We’re talking about photos like this:

Farmer spraying crop. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

This cannot possibly be glyphosate for the simple reason that glyphosate is an herbicide. That means it kills plants. It is designed to kill weeds, but if a farmer sprays it on his or her crop it would also kill the crop...

Read More

Why do farmers need glyphosate? An answer in 10 weeds

By Brandon Mitchener and Jaden Elsasser

The current political debate around the use of glyphosate in agriculture in Europe is permeated with the simple notions that weed control is optional and that if glyphosate were banned, farmers would just let the weeds grow, because who do they really harm anyway?

Any farmer knows the proper reseponse to that question: Weeds are the enemy! They compete with crops for light and water. Some of them are highly invasive and spread much faster than what the farmer is trying to grow. They can clog up machinery. Some of them are even highly toxic to people and farm animals; if too much of them end up in the harvest, the crop is unusable and might even have to be condemned...

Read More

A comedian’s take on a data scientist from Monsanto

“I would buy out Dow Chemical and Monsanto and shut them down,” said a visiting professor during a breakfast session at Washington University in St. Louis, US, last month. This was one of the professor’s personal solutions when asked how he could make everyone healthy. On 15 June, practicing scientist, author and stand-up comedian Adam Ruben published an opinion story in Science magazine (published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science) on his observations from this event and his encounter with a data scientist at Monsanto.

Image of Louis Pasteur. Thanks to his work we know that certain bacteria are responsible for sickness. But he was denounced by the medical establishment and ridiculed by the public.

Thanks to Louis Pasteur’s work we know that certain bacteria are responsible for sickness. But he was denounced by the medical establishment and ridiculed by the public.

Nathan VanderKraats, a computer scientist by training, was one of the nex...

Read More

My First March Against Monsanto

By Jaden Elsasser

Growing up as a small town farmer’s daughter in Illinois, I only understood the basics of the farming business (and quite frankly I was never urged to learn about it, as hard as my dad pushed). I could answer the simple questions such as, “How many acres does your father farm?” and “Where is your farm located?” But when any further questions were sent my way, I simply nodded my head with a smile and pretended I knew exactly what they were talking about.

WhatsApp-Image-20160521 (3)I hadn’t fully understood the debate around Monsanto until my first year at the University of Missouri. I paid little attention to what friends, acquaintances and others had said about the big, bad multinational company because Monsanto products had always played a vital role for a large farming family...

Read More

Anti-glyphosate activism masquerading as journalism at Euractiv

by Brandon Mitchener

ChemophobiaWe have unfortunately gotten used to seeing bad and sloppy journalism on topics related to Monsanto, but this week’s Euractiv France story about French opposition to the renewal of glyphosate may have to take the prize for media bias. (Arthur Nelsen’s biased coverage in the Guardian is close behind).

Euractiv’s story starts out factually, noting that the European Commission had once again delayed a vote on the renewal of glyphoate, the active substance in Monsanto’s Roundup and in many other weedkillers used by farmers, gardeners and others for whom weeds are a scourge. From there, all normal journalistic standards of objectivity go straight to the bottom.

Just a few warning signs:

  1. Eleven of the fourteen paragraphs in the story quote environmental activists, Greens o...
Read More