Beginning this spring, farmers will have an opportunity to participate in the new program that will give them first-hand experience with pipeline products under commercial-scale planting conditions.
“Ground Breakers allows farmers to obtain a better understanding of product benefits and an opportunity to give us feedback on the product,” said Matt Kirkpatrick, Monsanto Corn Traits Marketing Manager. “A farmer will now have a chance to see how products will perform on their own farm in large-scale trials in addition to plot trials prior to commercial introduction.”
This season, Monsanto will be piloting the Ground Breakers program with its new drought-tolerant corn system, Genuity® DroughtGard™ Hybrids. Approximately 250 growers throughout the Western Great Plains region will have the opportunity to plant DroughtGard Hybrids on their farm. These hybrids are part of a comprehensive drought-tolerant system to mitigate yield loss caused by drought stress.
Farmers are looking forward to participating in the new program. “It will be nice to see how DroughtGard Hybrids perform in my own environment because I will be able to see how it works in my region and compare it to the current hybrids that I’m planting,” said Chris Nelsen, a South Dakota farmer from Mission Hill participating in Ground Breakers. “It shows Monsanto is making the effort to prove that they have a good, consistent product that will work across many different environments.”
As Monsanto works to bring new technologies to farmers, the company will evaluate which products may have a good fit for the new Ground Breakers program. “Farmers have asked to see products prior to commercialization,” said Kirkpatrick, “and Ground Breakers is a flexible program that allows us to give farmers a preview. The program will also generate data and farmer feedback to help us make commercial decisions.”
Pending key regulatory approvals, Monsanto plans to evaluate a Ground Breakers program for the Roundup Ready® Xtend Crop System for soybeans. This system is designed to provide farmers with more consistent, flexible control of weeds, especially tough-to-manage and glyphosate-resistant weeds, to help maximize crop yield potential.