Some of the highest-yielding seed products in the Midwestern United States come from introgressing tropical germplasm into domestic germplasm. In South America, hybrids with lineage from North and South America combine to create bin-busting new products for farms.
These and other new varieties are a result of extensive research and development by Monsanto breeders who have collectively scoured millions of different germplasm combinations to select winning varieties that farmers plant from Illinois to India.
Annually, our breeders exchange more than a million different combinations of germplasm material around the world. By combining technologies like molecular markers with other advanced breeding tools, we can increase the probability of selecting the best seed varieties in a shorter amount of time.
Overall, advanced breeding technology today allows our plant breeders to make more informed decisions earlier in the process and helps us develop new, elite seeds faster than ever before.
USING INNOVATION TO MAXIMIZE RESEARCH
After identifying a need for instantaneous product performance knowledge for our stakeholders, our information technology team developed a system to provide real-time data availability for all field trials conducted for soybean and corn products across all Monsanto brands during harvest season.
The system uses advanced analytics to quickly communicate data from more than 4,000 field reports, allowing us to generate momentum and excitement for our new products among our sales force and other employees less than 36 hours after the data is entered from the field.
The system provides us with more harvest information and creates more precise measurement of the improved yield performance of our products. The number of data points we were able to analyze increased 900 percent between 2009 and 2010, providing us a clearer understanding of how our products are positively impacting our customers.
FINDING NECESSARY SOLUTIONS TO CLIMATE CHALLENGES
Three-quarters of the world’s severe droughts over the past 10 years have occurred in Africa, making drought the most significant constraint of African agriculture. In 2011, the Horn of Africa experienced the worst drought in 60 years, dramatically impacting the lives of millions of Africans, many of them farmers.
Even moderate drought conditions can severely affect the yields of corn (maize), on which more than 300 million Africans depend as their main food source. We are proud to be one of several partners involved in the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project, working to develop drought-tolerant African maize for smallholder farmers.
The project, led by Kenyan-based African Agriculture Technology Foundation (AATF), seeks to develop new maize hybrids from plant breeding and biotechnology.
The first WEMA hybrids developed through advanced breeding techniques are nearing the marketplace and those with biotech traits are under development. The technology developed through the project will be made available royalty-free to smallholder farmers through African seed companies.