ST. LOUIS (AP) — Monsanto Co. said Monday it entered a three-year partnership with pesticide maker AgraQuest Inc. to develop new strains of pesticide-coated seeds.
Monsanto, the world's biggest seed company, said its partnership with AgraQuest could yield seeds coated in AgraQuest's microbes that fight off nematodes, disease and insects.
Monsanto develops and sells genetically engineered varieties of corn and soybeans that are planted on the vast majority of U.S. farm acreage. With AgraQuest, it will try to make coated versions of its staple crops like corn and soybeans, as well as its vegetable seeds.
Under the terms of the partnership, Monsanto will have exclusive rights to AgraQuest's seed-treatment technology for core crops and vegetables. AgraQuest will retain the rights to its technology for pesticides that are sprayed over the top of plants.
AgraQuest will also get an upfront payment and research funding, performance-based payments and royalties. The size of the payments was not disclosed.
Monsanto has entered a number of similar partnerships in recent years, teaming up with companies like Germany-based BASF AG to speed up Monsanto's research and development pipeline.