May 24, 2013

 

BASF, Monsanto to introduce drought-tolerant GM corn in US

 

 

By next year, BASF and Monsanto Co. plan to commercially launch a drought-tolerant variety of genetically modified (GM) corn in the US.

 

"We are working with Monsanto to develop a new GM corn variety, which is currently under trial and expected to be ready for launch next year," BASF's president for crop protection, Markus Heldt, said on the sidelines of a conference on food security.

 

The two companies have a revenue sharing arrangement, with 60% of revenue going to Monsanto and the rest to BASF, Heldt said.

 

He said BASF is investing around €188 million (US$243 million) annually in plant biotechnology research to develop GM crops to improve yields and tolerance to drought and stress. It has collaborated with companies such as Monsanto and Bayer in the initiative.

 

In 2012, the US, the world's largest producer and exporter of corn, was hit by its worst drought in several decades and millions of acres of plantings were not harvested by growers because they were severely damaged.