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March 22, 2012

New Soybean Technology from Monsanto Being Tested in Brazil

Soybean producers in Rio Grande do Sul are in the process of testing a new technology developed by Monsanto specifically for the Brazilian market. The new soybean variety, called Intacta RR2 Pro, is a soybean variety that is not only resistant to Roundup herbicide, but it also has a gene that has been inserted making it resistant to the principal leaf eating worms in Brazil. Eighty nine farmers in 61 municipalities in Rio Grande do Sul are currently growing the new soybean that has been ten years in development. All across Brazil, 500 farmers are evaluating the new technology on their farms.

This new technology offers a potential solution to one of the main obstacles of growing soybeans in Brazil, leaf eating worms. The average soybean field in Brazil must be sprayed at least twice or more with appropriate insecticides to control the worms. This new technology should offer significant savings for Brazilian producers by reducing or eliminating the need for insecticides.

The fact that the new soybean will require fewer insecticides is in line with the goal of the Brazilian government of making soybean production in the country more sustainable. According to Monsanto representatives, the new technology is in harmony with sustainability goals, it increases productivity, it helps preserve natural resources, and it improves the quality of life of the farmers.

Unfortunately for the farmers in Rio Grande do Sul, this was not the best year for growing soybeans in the state due to the severe drought that continues to impact soybean production. Even under these adverse conditions, farmers in the state feel the Intacta RR2 Pro appears to be outperforming traditional Roundup Ready varieties.