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Posted 17 November 2006. PMN Crop News.


Preliminary Results Indicate Monsanto’s Yieldgard Rootworm-Protected Hybrids Outyielding Competitive Trait Systems


Monsanto.


St. Louis, Missouri (November 7, 2006)--Preliminary results from the 2006 corn harvest indicate that Monsanto's YieldGard® Rootworm insect-protected corn hybrid systems, including YieldGard Rootworm and YieldGard Plus, are delivering outstanding yield and insect protection to farmers and outyielding competitive trait and soil insecticide systems.

"Farmers depend on corn yield for their profitability, and we're proud that Monsanto's YieldGard Rootworm Corn technologies are protecting yield and delivering superior results compared with competitive product offerings," said Ernesto Fajardo, Vice President of Crop Production for Monsanto.


Extensive Field Testing Program

During the 2006 growing season, Monsanto coordinated head-to-head field trials of YieldGard Rootworm technologies with competitive treatments, including comprehensive comparisons with the Herculex® trait technology. The data generated was designed to test both the specific performance of the rootworm treatments, including a systematic measurement of insect feeding damage, as well as evaluate the germplasm and trait system yields. The intent of this evaluation program is to measure the total yield of each insect control trait in combination with the specific genetics of the seed in which it is used. This systematic testing, using head-to-head plots across broad testing locations, provides a comprehensive performance indicator that most closely mirrors results farmers would expect to see on their farms.


Delivering Yield through Better "System" Performance

Preliminary harvest results from more than 60 trial comparisons highlight that Monsanto's prowess in breeding better corn combined with the company's YieldGard Rootworm insect-protected corn technologies are offering farmers a superior corn seed product when compared with competitive trait offerings. These head-to-head results indicate that:

On a comparison basis, Monsanto's system (including both seed genetics and trait technologies) outyielded Pioneer Hi-Bred's system on more than 7 out of 10 acres, or 77.9 percent of the time.

Monsanto's YieldGard Plus delivered 11.5 bushels more per acre when compared with Herculex XTRA technology in 465 head-to-head field comparisons.

Monsanto's YieldGard Rootworm delivered 12.1 bushels more per acre when compared with Herculex RW technology in 138 head-to-head field comparisons.

Monsanto's YieldGard Rootworm and YieldGard Plus corn technology systems also delivered 14.6 bushels more per acre when compared with leading soil-applied insecticide system offerings including Force®, Aztec®, Lorsban® and others in 502 head-to-head field comparisons.


Root Efficacy

Preliminary results also highlight that Monsanto's YieldGard Rootworm insect-protected corn technologies are offering farmers similar root protection compared with competitive trait offerings, and superior root protection compared with soil-applied insecticide offerings. The roots were evaluated using the 0-3 node-injury scale as a means of quantifying the percentage of nodal roots that had been pruned. It is generally accepted that the economic threshold is 0.25 root rating on the node-injury scale. These results indicate that:

Monsanto's YieldGard Rootworm and YieldGard Plus technologies had an average root rating of 0.17 when compared head-to-head with Pioneer's Herculex Rootworm or Herculex XTRA technology, which had an average root rating of 0.20.

Monsanto's YieldGard Rootworm and YieldGard Plus Corn technologies had an average root rating of 0.19 compared with leading soil-applied insecticide offerings which had an average root rating of 0.57.

"Farmers select hybrid and trait seed systems based on which combinations will provide the greatest yield potential," stated Clint Pilcher, Corn Technology Development Manager for Monsanto.

"Insect protection traits will not improve the yield potential of poor hybrid genetics," Pilcher said. "Insect traits simply help a hybrid reach its genetic potential within a given year and environment."

While YieldGard Rootworm and Herculex Rootworm technologies are both effective corn rootworm control technologies when compared to soil applied insecticides, farmers consider the entire hybrid and technology seed package when it comes to choosing the products for their farm. "YieldGard Plus hybrids are delivering higher yielding system benefits to farmers across the Corn Belt," Pilcher noted.


About Monsanto's YieldGard Rootworm-Protected Corn Technologies

Monsanto's YieldGard Rootworm Corn technology was introduced in 2003 and YieldGard Plus was launched in 2004. YieldGard Plus contains both rootworm and corn borer technologies providing farmers with above and below ground insect protection. In 2006, Monsanto's YieldGard Rootworm and YieldGard Plus technologies were used by more than 60,000 U.S. corn farmers to protect yield on more than 10 million acres.

Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. For more information on Monsanto, see: www.monsanto.com.