Engineering News

Progress in Plant Breeding and Biotech Programs, Coupled With Continued Financial Discipline, Underscore Monsanto's Success
Wednesday May 3, 9:00 am ET

Monsanto Confirms Earnings Per Share and Free Cash Flow Guidance for Fiscal Year 2006

ST. LOUIS, May 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Monsanto Company Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Terry Crews is scheduled to present tomorrow at Bank of America's 2006 Basic Industries Conference in New York. Crews' presentation will provide an update on Monsanto's business, its performance, and other business matters.

During the presentation, Crews will discuss Monsanto's recent accomplishments within its commercial business, the progress in its R&D pipeline, as well as its continued financial discipline -- all of which have the company poised for both near-term and long-term growth.

Biotech and Breeding Serve as Key Contributors to Commercial Success

Monsanto has long been recognized as the biotech leader in the agriculture industry based on its introduction of traits technologies, including its Roundup Ready, YieldGard and Bollgard products. More recently, the company is increasingly being recognized for the strength of its plant breeding programs and the value generated by those programs. The company is poised for market share gains in the U.S. corn seed market for a fifth consecutive year, which is largely a result of continuous improvements being made in its corn breeding program.

"Farmers buy quality and yield through the seed and technology decisions they make each and every year," Crews said. "We're looking to maximize the potential of seed for farmers -- both its yield potential and the technology used to protect it -- so they can get more out of each seed. This is the intersection of our plant breeding and biotech programs, and a point that represents a unique advantage for our business."

One example of this intersection is demonstrated through how the company's corn breeding and biotech programs are contributing to the ethanol sector, Crews noted. The company's breeders have identified corn hybrids which yield more ethanol per bushel. These hybrids are then sold with the company's trait technologies which help protect yield, and ultimately the plant's ethanol output.

Farmers Continue to Adopt Trait Technologies, Stacked Seed Offerings

In the United States, the company continues to see strong adoption of its corn and cotton trait offerings, including its stacked-trait products which allow farmers to get more benefits out of a single seed. Crews noted that U.S. cotton farmers are expected to plant the industry's first second-generation glyphosate-tolerant cotton technology, Roundup Ready Flex, on more than 2 million acres this season. In corn, the company's triple-trait technology has effectively sold out and is expected to be planted on approximately 5 million acres this season.

In South America, Brazilian soybean farmers have nearly completed harvesting this year's production. The company expects that use of its Roundup Ready soybean technology will be in the range of 50 percent of soybean acres planted in Brazil. In India, the company expects that more than 6 million cotton acres will be planted with the company's Bollgard insect-protected trait this season, Crews said.

R&D Engine -- A Strong Foundation of Advancements in Breeding and Biotech

As part of his presentation, Crews will also discuss developments within the company's R&D platform -- including its progress toward the introduction of second- and third-generation technologies. Crews will also highlight how research at the company's joint venture with Cargill, Renessen, may also contribute to the ethanol sector. Renessen is currently working on a combination of biotech, breeding and processing projects designed to increase the nutrient value of the co-product stream from ethanol.

Source: Monsanto Company

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