Monsanto's Climate Corporation Unveils Robust R&D Pipeline in Digital Agriculture

The company also announces new global expansion plans for its Climate FieldView digital agriculture platform.

The Climate Corporation, a subsidiary of Monsanto Company (No. 43 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list), unveiled for the first time more than 35 projects in its research and development pipeline. The company also announced plans to expand its industry-leading Climate FieldView digital agriculture platform into new international geographies over the next few years. Climate's announcement follows Monsanto's annual R&D pipeline update.


The company is sharing an unprecedented level of detail on its R&D pipeline, which is the broadest and most robust in the digital agriculture industry.

"The digital ag industry continues to accelerate rapidly as more farmers experience the value data-driven digital tools can bring their operations," said Mike Stern, chief executive officer for The Climate Corporation. "At Climate, constant innovation has been paramount to the delivery of our Climate FieldView platform that's helping thousands of farmers unlock the value of their field data to enhance productivity. Our commitment to innovation is reflected in the breadth and depth of our R&D pipeline, and we will continue to expand the geographic availability of our tools to deliver new digital technologies to farmers across the globe."

The science behind the company's widely adopted Climate FieldView platform leverages data from the soil, field and atmosphere to help farmers better understand field variability and customize their agronomic practices to get the most out of every acre.

"There's a tremendous opportunity for farmers to maximize their yield potential by tailoring their management practices to address field variability," said Sam Eathington, chief scientist for The Climate Corporation. "Farming at the zone level is the new reality. Climate is already delivering advanced seed scripting and zone-level nitrogen monitoring capabilities, and our robust research pipeline ensures we will continue to provide farmers actionable insights to help them operate more efficiently and sustainably, while supporting all of the key decisions they have to make each year to optimize yield."

Climate R&D Pipeline Highlights

Seeds & Planting Product Selection - Placing the right seed in the right location is critical to achieving optimal yield. Through the collection and analysis of millions of data points on seed product performance across many geographies, Climate's seed product selection research is designed to help farmers select the most ideal seed products for their fields.

Fertility Prescriptions - To help farmers efficiently manage fertility and maximize productivity, Climate is working to develop variable rate prescription tools for nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. With these tools, Climate expects to provide the industry's first comprehensive fertility solution, delivering customized insights for crop nutrition and fertility management, tailored to farmers' unique goals.

Field Health - Disease Insights - Climate's field health R&D is focused on providing data that helps farmers see what's happening in each field, prioritize in-season crop management, and use satellite imagery and other field data to make input decisions for the next season. Climate's field health research includes a package of disease insights aimed at identifying and predicting disease vulnerability, as well as diagnosing key crop diseases using artificial intelligence capabilities. A first for the digital ag industry, Climate is also developing a new directed scouting tool to help farmers understand which fields to prioritize during scouting, helping them save time and protect their yield before it's impacted at the end of the season.

In less than two growing seasons, the Climate FieldView platform has quickly become the most broadly connected platform in the United States and has continued to expand into new global regions, including recent expansion into Canada and Brazil. In November, the company acquired VitalFields, a European farm management software company based in Tallinn, Estonia, marking the company's first step into the European market. The company plans to bring the Climate FieldView platform to Europe, South Africa, Australia and Argentina over the next few years.

Officially launched in 2015, the Climate FieldView platform is on more than 100 million acres across the United States and Brazil, with more than 100,000 U.S. farmers engaging in Climate's digital tools. Backed by the most powerful data science engine and most extensive field research network in the agriculture industry, the Climate FieldView platform delivers customized insights that help farmers make data-driven decisions with confidence to maximize yield potential, improve efficiency and manage risk.

To learn more about the Climate FieldView platform, contact your local Climate dealer or visitclimate.com.

Monsanto Company Awards $500,000 Grant to T-REX to Support New Resource Center for Geospatial Innovation

Currently more than 200 small companies and start-ups are housed at T-REX, which is also located about two miles away from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency construction site.

REUTERS

Originally Published by Monsanto.

In its continued support of geospatial innovation, Monsanto Company has awarded a $500,000 grant to T-REX, a St. Louis based non-profit business and technology incubator to support the creation of a new Geospatial Resource and Innovation Center.

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Monsanto and 2Blades Foundation Collaborate to Combat Devastating Soybean Disease


"Collaboration with industry is vital to ensure that new discoveries made in the lab can lead to innovations that will prevent crop losses caused by plant disease," said Dr. Peter van Esse, leader of the 2Blades Research Group at TSL.

REUTERS

Originally Published by Monsanto.

Monsanto Company and charitable organization 2Blades Foundation (2Blades) have formed a new collaboration to discover novel sources of genetic resistance to Asian soybean rust (ASR). 2Blades will deliver resistance genes in further collaboration with The Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL, Norwich, UK), the leading global institute for research on plant-pathogen interactions, and the Universidade Federal de Viçosa (UFV), a leading university in agricultural sciences in Brazil.

Asian soybean rust, a disease caused by the fungus Phakopsora pachyrhizi, results in yellowing and browning of soybean leaves and can lead to premature senesence and significant yield loss. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), P. pachyrhizi has spread rapidly and causes yield losses from 10 to 80% in Argentina, Asia, Brazil, Paraguay, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.1

"Asian soybean rust is an ugly and expensive disease that can devastate farmers' harvests," said Jeremy Williams, Monsanto's biotechnology and ag productivity innovation lead. "Current fungicide treatments can provide some control, but farmers need more tools – and the 2Blades research could help provide a durable solution as part of an integrated pest-management system."

2Blades' mission is to contribute to global food security by developing crops with long-lasting resistance to pathogens in order to reduce losses due to disease. By working with world-leading plant scientists, 2Blades seeks to discover new sources of disease resistance in nature and transfer them into important crops to extend the breadth of their immune system and secure yields.

"Collaboration with industry is vital to ensure that new discoveries made in the lab can lead to innovations that will prevent crop losses caused by plant disease," said Dr. Peter van Esse, leader of the 2Blades Research Group at TSL. "It is therefore exciting to see that our scientific expertise and knowledge on plant-microbe interactions will be combined with Monsanto's capacity to deliver solutions to farmers to tackle a key challenge in soybean cultivation."

"The management of soybean rust requires the integration of different approaches, including disease resistance. This collaboration will allow us to use cutting-edge technologies to speed up the identification of new resistance genes that can be used to deliver more sustainable solutions to soybean farmers, reducing the environmental and economic impact of ASR," said Prof. Sérgio H. Brommonschenkel at UFV.

In January 2017, Monsanto, 2Blades and The Sainsbury Laboratory announced a collaboration focused on tackling corn disease complexes such as stalk and ear rots that have the potential to significantly reduce yield. That research is ongoing and is independent of this new collaboration.

The ASR collaboration complements Monsanto's work to expand the global crop protection toolbox while enabling farmers to produce more with less of an impact on the environment. 2Blades retains rights to deploy new leads arising from the program in crops for smallholder farmers in the least developed countries, with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa. Soybean is a crop of significant and increasing importance in Africa, with extraordinary nutritional, soil, and economic benefits. However, the presence of ASR throughout the African continent is a major factor limiting production.

Monsanto: Mark Edge on WEMA, the Fall Armyworm and farmers in Africa

Mark Edge, Director of Collaborations for Developing Countries at Monsanto, talks about WEMA, the initiative that uses Bt maize to eradicate a harmful pest and help smallholder farmers in Africa.

REUTERS

By Mark Edge

Originally Published by Monsanto.

My work at Monsanto over the years has offered me many new challenges – lately I'm working with a team on the complex issue of helping smallholder farmers in Africa get better seed to help them manage the threats to their maize crops.

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