Monsanto Company has outlined changes to its Roundup brand agricultural herbicide business which are expected to result in more competitive offerings for U.S. farmers. Business changes include adjusting the price of its Roundup brand agricultural herbicides; investing in U.S. manufacturing capacity to help provide a long-term, reliable supply; and continuing to invest in product quality and new innovations while helping farmers manage risk.
"We anticipate farmers will see Roundup prices that are 50% of what they were last year," said Glenn Stith, North American crop protection lead. "This new price is effective now as retailers and farmers begin planning for the 2010 planting season."
There are two primary sources of glyphosate – Monsanto and approximately 50 China-based companies, many of which are government-owned or controlled operations that frequently shift production based on changes in policy and need for the key raw materials. This can have a significant impact on supply to US farmers.
"The global glyphosate business was incredibly volatile in 2008 and 2009 resulting in a difficult situation for both suppliers and farmers to manage through," Stith says. "Retailers and farmers faced uncertain product supply, rapidly fluctuating prices, and some quality issues from Chinese suppliers that led to crop safety concerns and failures in weed control."
Stith says that Monsanto is investing to help U.S. farmers have a reliable supply of Roundup brand agricultural herbicides that is competitively priced and superior to generic imports. He says it is critical for U.S. farmers to have a trusted and reliable source in a highly competitive market that has seen dramatic fluctuations.
In the past two years, Monsanto invested $200 million in additional capacity in the Luling, La., plant that supplies formulated Roundup agricultural herbicide brands. The added supply from Luling will come online in the months to come. The company has also made investments to increase mining capacity for glyphosate raw materials in southeastern Idaho. Proposed plans for the mine are currently under regulatory review.
"We realize that each season farmers make choices when it comes to the specific herbicides, seeds and traits that they purchase," said Stith. "Our investments in capacity show our commitment to providing farmers and retailers with a consistent supply of high-quality product with unsurpassed weed control when they make that decision."