ST. LOUIS (September 26, 2007) A new pilot program recently approved by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) will provide farmers an opportunity to pay lower premiums if they plant a majority of their corn acres using hybrid seeds that feature YieldGard Plus® with Roundup Ready® Corn 2 or YieldGard VT Triple(tm) technology from Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON).
The insurance product will be offered as a pilot program in cooperation with Western Agriculture Insurance Company and will be called the Biotech Yield Endorsement (BYE). Western Agriculture Insurance will make the program available to all other approved insurance providers to offer to their farmer customers.
The pilot program will initially be available in four states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota. Implementation of BYE has yet to be determined pending available resources and priorities for the deployment and administration of the program by the Risk Management Agency (RMA).
To be eligible for the program, a farmer must plant 75 to 80 percent of their corn acres with seeds featuring YieldGard Plus with Roundup Ready Corn 2 or YieldGard VT Triple technology. Refuge requirements must also be respected. Depending on the grower's production history, amount of coverage purchased and other criteria, the farmer may be able to reduce the yield component of their premium up to 24 percent.
"As a technology provider, our goal is to create technologies that help farmers consistently deliver better yields, manage their production risk and capture more value from their corn fields," said Robb Fraley, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Monsanto Company. "This program recognizes the consistently high yields that farmers using our technologies are able to deliver. We're pleased farmers will be able to take advantage of this new insurance product."
Under adverse conditions, Monsanto "triple stack" technologies, or seeds that feature three biotechnology genes, have exhibited higher yields and lower yield risk than conventional hybrids without the technology. These triple stack technologies are widely available to farmers and can be purchased through more than 250 corn seed companies that license the technologies.
According to 2006 harvest figures from the National Corn Growers Association, the four pilot states accounted for more than 50 percent of the corn acres harvested for grain in the United States. In 2007 there were more than 90 million acres of corn planted overall, representing the largest crop since 1944.
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 http://www.monsanto.com.