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Monsanto, BASF Scientists Disclose Discovery of Gene Conferring Drought Tolerance in Corn Plants
Date:6/9/2009

growth stages. By mitigating the impact of drought on the plant, cspB helps provide yield stability. Improved yield stability is of significant value to farmers faced with unpredictable rainfall.

"The development of this trait demonstrates the strength of our robust discovery engine which is fueled by our ongoing investment in R&D," said Robert Fraley, Chief Technology Officer for Monsanto. "It also reflects our commitment to our farmer customers and a recognition of the investment they make in our products. Drought-tolerant corn will be another tool with which we can help them meet the challenges facing agriculture today."

"BASF and Monsanto's drought-tolerant corn is the first result of our plant biotechnology collaboration of which I am very proud," said Jurgen Schweden, Senior Vice President R&D, BASF Plant Science. "With our complementing technologies, we are able to bring more and better products to farmers faster," he added.

Monsanto and BASF noted that the drought-tolerant corn product is targeted for as early as 2012 pending appropriate regulatory approvals. Both companies also recently announced that they have completed regulatory submissions for cultivation in the United States and Canada, and for import to Mexico, the European Union and Colombia. Submissions in other import markets will follow in the months to come.

In any given year, 10 million to 13 million acres of farmland planted to corn in the United States may be affected by at least moderate drought. In field trials conducted last year in the Western Great Plains, drought-tolerant corn met or exceeded the 6 percent to 10 percent target yield enhancement - about 7 to 10 bushels per acre in some of the key drought-prone areas in the United States where average yields range from 70 to 130 bushels per acre.

Drought-tolerant corn technology is part of the R&D and commercialization collaboration
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SOURCE Monsanto Company
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