Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences have agreed to collaborate and cross-license corn with a stacked combination of eight genes. Called SmartStax, the new corn will have both companies' above- and below-ground insect protection systems and weed control systems.
"We believe this agreement will allow us to incorporate traits that will give farmers the most complete yield protection available in a single package," says Ernesto Sajardo, U.S. Crop Protection Leader for Monsanto. "The SmartStax system will help us incorporate multiple traits into today's high performing germplasm, which will help producers increase yields on their farm."
Sajardo says farmers will be able to access the technology in the brands they are most comfortable with. Under the agreement, Monsanto will represent SmartStax for both companies for third-party licensing, allowing joint licensing of the technology to independent seed companies.
Dow AgroSciences and Monsanto will cross-license germplasm to their seed brands for a ten-year royalty-bearing agreement to create new hybrids that otherwise would not exist.
"The key to corn production today is productivity," says Jerome Peribere, President and CEO of Dow AgroSciences. "Over time, I envision the technology brought together by this agreement providing growers around the world with the opportunity to dramatically increase their productivity. They will be able to maximize the yields on their acres in some places where hybrid corn and biotechnology are not even available today."
SmartStax is expected to be available commercially by 2010.