In a move to further expand its seed trait business, Monsanto has announced the development and commercialization of linolenic soybeans. This new technology, announced in early September, will help overcome the serious trans-fat health problems that are facing the food industry.
Starting with development of new soybean varieties from Asgrow that will reduce or eliminate trans fatty acids in processed soybean oil, the company is making several new varieties available to Iowa growers for the 2005 growing season. It is anticipated that 100,000 acres of these low-linolenic soybeans will be grown in 2005. Processors expect to pay a 25 cent per bushel premium to farmers growing these soybeans next year.
Asgrow will have two early group II varieties available with the low-linolenic oil trait for 2005. By 2006, Asgrow hopes to have low linolenic oil varieties in late I through early III soybean varieties.
The tech fee is expected to be in line with fees being charged for other Monsanto seed and weed control traits.
Besides containing less than 3 percent linolenic acid vs. 8 percent for traditional soybeans, the new varieties will also include the Roundup Ready weed control trait.
By 2006, the technology will be licensed to other seed companies and the acreage will be expanded into other states. Monsanto’s soybean breeders and research scientists have worked for more than a decade to develop this technology, says Kerry Preete, vice president of U.S. crop production at Monsanto. One of the big benefits of the new…