|Monsanto is focused on three crops for biofuels: corn, rapeseed and soybeans. Click to enlarge.|
Monsanto’s corn and oilseeds breeding and biotech are complementary to the overall push to biofuels, according to Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President Robb Fraley.
In an investor presentation providing an update on the company’s research, Fraley said that Monsanto’s focus is on improving the yield-per-acre potential of crops as well as for ways to enhance the value of those crops.
|Increased ethanol yield with Producer Preferred HFC|
Monsanto’s breeders have already identified high fermentable corn (HFC) hybrids that yield more ethanol per bushel.
The average yield for a conventional dry mill is 2.8 gallons of ethanol for every bushel of corn. Large-scale commercial trials of HFC demonstrated an average increase in yield of 2.7%. These hybrids are sold with the company’s trait technologies which help protect yield, and ultimately the plant’s ethanol output.
A Monsanto joint-venture with Cargill—Renessen—is working on a combination of biotech, breeding and processing projects designed to increase the nutrient value of the animal feed co-product stream from ethanol. (Earlier post.)
Other highlights from mid-season test results from Monsanto’s winter production field trials in Latin America as well as new analyses of research data include:
Drought-tolerant corn, one of Monsanto’s next-generation agronomic technologies and one of the company’s high-impact technologies—HIT projects—is showing yield advantages compared with its conventional counterpart for a third-consecutive season. This technology is currently in Phase 2 of the research pipeline.
Current drought map. Click to enlarge.
According to the Drought Monitor at the University of Nebraska, some 60% of the US is currently experiencing abnormally dry or drought conditions.
Nitrogen-utilization corn technology may provide farmers with a new way to boost yield in both normal- and limited-nitrogen usage settings. This technology is currently in Phase 1 of the research pipeline.
Dicamba-tolerant soybeans, Monsanto’s third-generation herbicide-tolerant technology, may provide farmers with tolerance in both pre- and post-emergent settings, as well as increase the flexibility of herbicide applications. This technology is currently in Phase 2 of the research pipeline.
Insect-protected soybeans, the company’s first insect-protection technology for oilseeds, are demonstrating yield advantages compared with its conventional counterpart in both mild and moderate insect infestations. This technology, which is currently in Phase 2 of the research pipeline, is intended to be commercialized with the company’s Roundup RReady2Yield technology, leading to a new stacked product in soybeans.
Monsanto Whistle-Stop Summer Investor Field Tour technology presentation