Editor's Note: Reuters News Service published the original report.
Monsanto will increase seed prices up to 10% overall next year even as it holds certain "workhorse" hybrid seed prices flat for farmers unwilling to pay premiums for the company's genetically modified seed technology.
"We have to have a balanced approach," says Monsanto Chief Financial Officer Carl Casale. "You've got to continue to acquire new customers."
Casale says price increases for 2010 would range from 8% to 10% across the portfolio on average, but some seed offerings would see prices held flat as part of an effort to give broader choice to farmers.
The company plans to introduce at least one new product every year for the next seven years, officials said.
Monsanto say they were introducing for the first time a strategy to hold prices flat for certain seed offerings they described as "workhorses," proven hybrids lacking some of the sophisticated new technology.
"What we're seeing is the emergence of customers who have tried our technologies who are loyal supporters... and then there is another group who have still to try and are still on the edges," says Monsanto Chairman Hugh Grant. "Our job.... we need to drive adoption with that second group."
Casale says the company did not correlate its seed pricing strategies with crop prices, but rather with how much value the company thought it was providing the farmer.