maize tagged posts

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...

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AquaTEK helps farmers save water, energy & time (EN/IT)

Millions undernourished today. A growing population. Fierce competition for fresh water. A finite and shrinking supply of arable land. Climate change with increasingly unpredictable weather. New insects and pathogens. That’s the situation farmers face today, and one that challenges us all as long as we aspire to eat.

Monsanto can’t solve all the world’s challenges, but one thing we can do is work together with farmers and others to help make agriculture more efficient so we can reduce pressure on the natural resources we have left.

One of our flagship partnerships in Europe is AquaTEK®, which began as a three-year collaboration with Israeli drip irrigation experts at Netafim, the University of Milan and HydroBio, and is now a successful commercial offer popular with farmers in Italy’s Po ...

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Monsanto partners with Russian farmers to triple conventional maize output

Maize seeds being organised in a Russian seed plant.

Maize seeds being organised at a Russian seed plant.

The Russian agriculture sector is one of the fastest growing in the world. From 2000 to 2008, Russia’s agricultural imports grew from $7 billion (6.4 billion euros) to $33 billion (30 billion euros), making it the second largest agricultural importer among emerging markets, after China.

To help Russia reduce the need for imports, Monsanto has partnered with local farmers and a local seed toller (seed processor) to boost local production of DEKALB®-brand hybrid maize.  In fact, local production of high-performance DEKALB® maize is expected to triple this year. Last year, Monsanto harvested 192 metric tonnes of hybrid maize on 50 hectares. This year the company will grow DEKALB® maize on 150 hectares.

All the DEKALB® seeds produced ...

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French court upholds validity of construction permit for Monsanto seed plant in Trèbes / Validité confirmée du permis de construire de l’usine de semences de Monsanto à Trèbes

plant_mapThe judge of the administrative court of Montpellier has confirmed the validity of a construction permit for the expansion of Monsanto’s maize seed processing plant in an industrial zone of Trèbes, in southern France.

Monsanto welcomes the decision, which confirmed an earlier decision in which a judge refused to grant an appeal by local residents to stop the construction.

The expansion of the Trèbes plant began in 2013, and the $103 million investment there has doubled the capacity of the plant to process maize seed for French farmers and for export. The expansion represents a socio-economic opportunity for Trèbes and the surrounding region.

For more information about what goes on in a Monsanto maize seed processing plant, check out our virtual tour or our Where Seeds Come From broch...

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EU opt-outs on GM crops contradict history of safe use

By Brandon Mitchener

Under the European Union’s newly updated law on the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) seeds within the Union, individual EU member states have the option to “opt out” of the scope of the authorisation for the cultivation of individual GM “events” (traits) on their national territory, or even just part of it. Since Monsanto and other companies who sell GM seeds globally or intend to sell them are responsible for securing authorisation for the sale of those seeds, we were given the opportunity to object to these requests.

As of the expiration of the start of November, when the deadline for our response to those requests ran out, Monsanto has not opposed any of the requests received...

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Romanian farmers’ progress in photos

The Monsanto Europe Corporate Engagement team has just returned from visiting the beautiful city of Timisoara in Romania, and the annual Romanian Farm Progress Show, last week in the region of Banat.

Our three days were filled with great experiences and knowledge sharing from our gracious hosts. This included a visit to the Timișoara Orthodox Cathedral, a Romanian Orthodox building constructed over 70 years ago; the square where the Romanian Revolution started in December 1989; the second largest vineyard in Western Romania, Cramele Recas established in 1447, that has won many awards for its wines; and a 17 hectare (one hectare is 10,000 m2) plot of a larger farm that generates a few thousand kilogrammes of maize per hectare annually.

As around 43% of Romania’s economy is linked with a...

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Innovation? No, thanks! Some EU countries opt out of GM seed cultivation under new law (EN/FR) 

by Brandon Mitchener

Since the European Union first authorised GM crops for cultivation in 1998, EU-level approval was enough to plant them anywhere in the Union, which now counts 28 countries. Several individual nations weren’t happy with that and banned GM crops on political grounds. These bans were systematically struck down as lacking any legitimate scientific basis.

Now, under a new EU law passed earlier this year, countries require no scientific justification for bans on the cultivation of GM crops on their territory and can do so for arbitrary reasons. In fact, some EU countries have begun doing just that.

Monsanto has been made aware of requests (“demands”) to the European Commission from Latvia and Greece to be removed from the scope of our request for EU re-authorization allowi...

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Internships keep young people ahead of the economic crisis

Have you ever thought about what it’d be like to work for Monsanto? Here’s what some Ukrainian students had to say about their one-year internships with Monsanto between the summer of 2014 and June 2015.

Photograph of Denis Mushtin in the fields.

Denis Mushtin.

Every day of the internship I realised that I was doing things that I liked. I woke up in the morning with a desire to go to work. The high level of organisation, highly qualified specialists, courteous and friendly staff left only positive emotions after work,” said Denis Mushtin, who is graduating this year from the Zhytomyr National University of Agriculture and Ecology, Department of Technical Engineering, Agro-Mechanisation.

Interns like Mushtin spent time in five departments: commercial, technology, breeding, production and marketing...

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The letter that Lausanne Cité didn’t want you to read

You have to  appreciate the irony of Lausanne Cité, which has the gall to insist that readers’ commentaries on their articles and editorials avoid “messages full of hate, defamation, slander or character assassination.” They continue: “We invite you to maintain, at all times, a tone and proposals that are respectful.” (French original below)

Votre avis nous intéresse. Mais Lausanne Cités refuse toute forme de message haineux, diffamatoire, calomnieux ou attentatoire à l’honneur. Les propos racistes ou xénophobes, les menaces, injures ou autres incitations à la violence seront immédiatement supprimés de notre site. Nous vous invitons donc à toujours garder, en toute circonstance, un ton et des propos respectueux. Lausanne Cités

And yet, the very same Lausanne Cité, that apparen...

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AquaTEK precision farming project will help make maize production more sustainable (IT/ES)

By Rachel Moore

An excellent product does not always mean an excellent process. Food “made in Italy” is one of the undisputed jewels of the country, but there is ample room for improvement in the fields.

“Italian agriculture, and in particular maize production, is not making full use of the innovations made available by technology,” said Federico Bertoli, the commercial director of Monsanto Italy. Bertoli presented the AquaTEK water conservation project at the Milan EXPO workshop organised by the National Research Council on 1 July at the Italy Pavilion.

The project, focused on water conservation in cropping systems, began in 2013 as a public-private partnership between Monsanto Italy, Netafim and the University of Milan...

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