Pioneer Hi-Bred buying S. Africa seed company

Pioneer Hi-Bred, the agricultural unit of DuPont, said Wednesday it was buying a South African seed company in an effort to expand its reach into corn production through Africa. Pioneer’s purchase of a majority stake in Pannar Seed Ltd, which operates seed businesses in nine countries in Africa, is the latest move in a race by many major agricultural companies to stake a claim in Africa.

Read More

DuPont sees market gains for agriculture unit

DuPont is expanding market share in key agricultural sectors despite intense competition and expects continued growth as it rolls out new products for farmers, a company executive said on Tuesday.

Read More

Wheat groups welcome genetic news, say more needed

U.S. and international wheat breeders said Friday publication of the gene map of wheat could eventually help in developing beneficial new varieties, but cautioned that cracking wheat’s complicated genetic code is far from completed.

Read More

Monsanto buys stake in Australian wheat breeder

Monsanto Co has acquired a 19.9 percent minority interest in InterGrain Pty Ltd, an Australian cereal breeder, in its effort to bring biotech wheat to world markets, the company said on Thursday. The stake is part of a collaboration agreement that includes the exchange of wheat germplasm for breeding aimed at developing wheat varieties with improved yield performance, enhanced disease resistance and drought tolerance, as well as improved end use qualities, the companies said.

Read More

Sugar beet ruling pressures USDA GMO oversight

Proponents of tighter U.S. oversight of biotech crops said on Monday a court-ordered ban on genetically-modified sugar beets is a key ruling that should lead to more thorough regulatory review of such crops. And they threatened further court action against the U.S. Department of Agriculture if the agency does not start examining the environmental and economic harm potentially associated with such crops.

Read More

U.S. farm group wants crackdown on meatpackers

A grass-roots group of U.S. farmers and ranchers on Tuesday called for tighter government oversight of beef and poultry companies, charging that corporate monopolies are unfairly squeezing independent producers. The outcry is aimed at rallying support for the Agriculture Department’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), which is completing a new rule aimed at promoting fairness in the marketing of livestock and poultry. GIPSA published the rule in June and a comment period expires Nov 22.

Read More

Monsanto extends pledge on Roundup Ready soybeans

Monsanto Co said on Thursday it will maintain the export approval status for Roundup Ready soybeans through 2021, seven years after the company’s patent expires on the popular seed product. However, farm industry players called for further action to ensure continued availability of the biotech seed.

Read More

Monsanto fined $2.5 mln on pesticide/seed misbrand

Monsanto Co has agreed to pay a $2.5 million fine for misbranding biotech cotton seeds in what regulators called the largest settlement of its kind for violating U.S. insecticide law. Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company, violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act when it sold and distributed some cotton seed products in a way that violated restrictions Monsanto had told the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency it would adhere to, the EPA said.

Read More

Monsanto, BASF to develop GMO wheat, other crops

Monsanto Co and BASF said Wednesday they will nearly double their investments into an already established joint venture to develop biotech crops, expanding their efforts to include a focus on wheat, a key food crop that as yet has no commercialized biotech variety. The companies said they were adding potentially more than $1 billion to the collaboration they formed in 2007, which already had a budget of about $1.5 billion and has been focused on developing higher-yielding and stress-tolerant versions of corn, soy, cotton and canola.

Read More

Monsanto profit falls as Roundup struggles

Monsanto Co reported a 45 percent drop in quarterly net income on Wednesday as the global seed leader’s Roundup herbicide business continued to struggle, sending its shares down as much as 4.3 percent. Company officials, who called 2010 a “challenging year,” said while they saw a 5 percent jump in net sales of seeds and genomics, net sales of Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides fell 56 percent.

Read More