ST. LOUIS (Aug. 6, 2012) - As U.S. farmers face the worst drought in more than 25 years, Monsanto today announced new commitments to support farmers and the rural communities where they live that have been impacted by severe drought conditions:
“Nearly 90 percent of the U.S. corn crop is in regions impacted by drought,” said Mike Stern, U.S. row crops business lead, Monsanto Company. “Monsanto understands that when farmers face crop losses, it makes it more difficult to invest in their business for the following year. We want to help ease the minds of our farmer customers who have been hit hard by this year’s drought. We also recognize the economic impact that a devastating drought can have on communities where farmers live and work. This is why we’re providing disaster relief through additional funding of our America’s Farmers Grow Communities program that will directly assist those drought stricken counties.”
Doubling Funding of America’s Farmers Grow Communities Program
America’s Farmers Farm Mom of the Year Debbie Lyons-Blythe has seen firsthand the impact farmers’ challenges have on the communities where they live. “Farmers are small business owners that fuel the economies of their local communities,” said Lyons-Blythe.
Farmers’ investments in their business generate income for local businesses and provide jobs for their neighbors. “In good years, farmers make a profit and invest that money back into their operation – purchasing new equipment, improving fences, and even building new facilities,” Lyons-Blythe said. “During a severe drought, farmers aren’t able to invest as much in their crops or business, and that has a cumulative impact on rural communities.”
To help, the Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Company, is providing additional financial support to farming communities impacted by drought through America’s Farmers Grow Communities. Through this program, eligible farmers in select counties can enter to win a $2,500 donation for their favorite local nonprofit group, such as FFA chapters, schools, fire departments, local food pantries or other civic groups. To further support counties that have been declared disaster areas due to drought, winning farmers in these counties can choose where to direct an additional $2,500 donation based on community needs that have surfaced because of the drought. In 2013, the Monsanto Fund plans to invest up to $5 million in rural America through America's Farmers Grow Communities, with the additional drought relief funding.
To date, 661 counties have been declared disaster areas within the 1,271 eligible Grow Communities counties. Farmers can enter online at www.americasfarmers.com/growcommunities or call 1-877-267-3332. Entries can be submitted through Nov. 30, 2012. Winners will be announced in January 2013.
Supporting Farmers’ Ability to Invest in 2013 Planting
While crop insurance will help farmers recover from a portion of their losses as a result of the drought, the timing of their claim payments may make it more difficult for them to re-invest in their businesses and prepare for the 2013 planting season. Monsanto is helping their farmer customers in affected regions by offering additional prepay options and financing assistance for the purchase of their seed. Farmers in impacted areas can call 1-855-379-1212 to discuss their individual situation and explore options with a Monsanto representative.
Monsanto’s Long-Term Research to Help Farmers Mitigate Risk
Beyond this year’s devastating drought, Monsanto is committed to helping farmers mitigate their risk over the long term. The company’s work in plant breeding and biotechnology is focused on developing innovative products that can help farmers manage challenging agronomic conditions and stressors to their cropping systems. These products can help mitigate crop losses and the broader impact those losses have on rural communities.
About Monsanto Company
Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world's natural resources such as water and energy. To learn more about our business and our commitments, please visit: www.monsanto.com. Follow our business on Twitter® at www.twitter.com/MonsantoNews, on the company blog, Beyond the Rows at www.monsantoblog.com, or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.
About the Monsanto Fund
The Monsanto Fund is a not–for–profit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto Fund at www.monsantofund.org.