Are Glyphosate Prices Set To Drop?

Following the expiration of the patents covering glyphosate, Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide may be facing numerous price threats. At least 17 glyphosate products from nine companies are on the market this spring for use by no-tillers.

Even so, Monsanto has been preparing for the loss of protection for Roundup by cutting prices over a number of years and raising production capacity, maintain financial advisors at the Salomon Smith Barney.

Built at a cost of $235 million, a new glyphosate plant in Brazil will increase Monsanto’s overall production capacity by 35 percent. The company has also signed supply agreements with a number of competitors to allow them to market glyphosate herbicides under their own trademark.

Financial reports indicate that Roundup accounted for 70 percent of Monsanto’s $3.58 billion in sales during 1999. About 70 percent of the company’s glyphosate sales were outside the U.S.

OTHER NO-TILL NEWS...

  • A research discovery in China may make soybean hybridization more feasible, indicates Bob Byrnes, a Lynn Co., Minn., educator with the University of Minnesota Extension Service. In recent years, the Chinese have discovered cytoplasmic male sterility that provides a better way of getting a male-sterile flower that could eventually lead to soybean hybridization.

Unlike corn, the male and female parts of soybeans are in the same flower, which makes hybridization more challenging.

Byrnes says the benefits of hybridization are not as dramatic in soybeans as with corn. While soybeans are already uniform and hybrid vigor is not as strong as with corn, there is still…

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