Last week, Monsanto announced it would invest $10,000,000 per year over the next 10 years into corn breeding and product development. Although it is as surprising announcement for some it makes sense for the following reasons:
Western Canada has proven itself as a remarkable farming region. Considering the vast amount of acres, western Canada farmers can seed 2,000,000 acres in a day (a big day, and by the way, I have absolutely no proof of this) as made evident this spring where the crop, in large part was seeded in 20 days. Therefore when the pressure is on to get in early seeded crops it can happen fast.
Corn is following soybeans and they go together. The soybean business is moving and it isn’t going to stop. Earlier maturing bean varieties are coming every year and we are seeing beans grown as far north as Saskatoon and they are looking good.
Canola, the CInderella crop, is hitting a wall. The notion that canola is a 20,000,000 acre crop in Western Canada is agronomically wrong and most people know it in their hearts and minds even if they won’t say it. Yields aren’t consistently good enough when farmers push rotations of canola with pulse crops and they will be willing to embrace new cash generating crops that can spread the rotation out. They have to. Corn and soybeans fit that need. And remember, soybeans are not a pulse crop. They are an oilseed.
If corn hits 8 million acres buy 2025, like Monsanto says, then soybeans will be at at least 4 million and canola will rest at around 12 – 15 million. And we’ll all live happily ever after. (Well,,maybe)
I’ll bet Monsanto isn’t investing $10,000,000 for ten years in canola or wheat breeding.