Update on DOJ/USDA Workshop
Last Friday I attended a public workshop in Ankeny hosted by the Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Several panelists throughout the day addressed various competition issues in agriculture, including the livestock and seed industries.
A group of professors with expertise in antitrust, Intellectual property, public policy, and economics have been following the issue of “seed industry concentration” and blogged live from Friday’s DOJ/USDA workshop. I invite you to visit www.truthonthemarket.com and read their post, “On Seed industry concentration and its claimed effects.”
There are two lines in the aforementioned blog post that really sum up the overriding issue: “… turns out the traits farmers like best were created by one firm. As it happens, the only constraint that I know of on innovation is the willingness and ability to incur the risk and bear the cost of R&D.”
The cost of Research and Development (R&D) is a large one to bare. In fact, Monsanto invested more than $980 million last fiscal year. The company spends nearly $3 million a day on R&D related to new biotech traits, elite germplasm, breeding, new variety and hybrid development, and genomics research. Other R&D projects support Monsanto’s current products, including improved formulations of Roundup herbicide. (http://www.monsanto.com/investors/corporate_profile.asp)
But Monsanto is not the only company investing heavily to create new products that will help provide food and fuel for the world’s growing population. Syngenta, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences and DuPont also spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually to continually strengthen their own product pipelines.
Fortunately, Latham Hi-Tech Seeds has the privilege of working with the industry’s leading technology providers. Through our unique alliances and strategic partnerships, we’re able to offer products with a variety of trait and genetic packages. Our unique position as an independent, family-owned seed company allows us to provide farmers with the choices for products and traits that will best fit their unique farming operations including:
- Corn hybrids with GenuityTM SmartStaxTM
- Corn hybrids with GenuityTM VT TripleTM Pro
- Corn hybrids with YieldGard® VT Triple with Roundup Ready 2 TechnologyTM
- Corn hybrids with Herculex® XTRA
- Corn hybrids with Agrisure® 3000GT
- Corn hybrids with LibertyLinkTM
- Soybean brands with GenuityTM Roundup Ready 2 YieldTM
- Soybean brands with Roundup® Ready
- Soybean brands with LibertyLinkTM