BASF, Monsanto Partner To Advance Plant Biotech

Potential budget of $1.5 billion will cover programs for yield and stress tolerance traits for corn, soybeans, cotton and canola.

BASF and Monsanto announced Wednesday a long-term joint R&D and commercialization collaboration in plant biology with a potential budget of $1.5 billion.

The partnership will focus on developing high yielding crops that can better tolerate harsh environmental conditions, like droughts.

The $1.5 billion budget will fund yield and stress tolerance traits for corn, soybeans, cotton and canola with the companies’ existing and planned yield and stress tolerance programs. The first product to be developed through the collaboration should be commercialized in the first half of the next decade.

“We are pleased to be able to work with BASF in order to enhance our ability to identify and commercialize new traits that have the potential to bring substantial value to farmers,” said Robb Fraley, CTO and executive vice president of Monsanto.

The companies said they expect to generate a greater number of viable research projects than they could have done on their own, accelerate the development of new products, and bring a greater number of traits to the market at a faster speed.

BASF and Monsanto also unveiled an agreement for a separate development and commercialization collaboration to research methods to control the soybean cyst nematode, a parasite that can limit and destroy soybean yields.

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