Seeds of Doubt for Monsanto Soybeans’ Yields

7/2/2010 8:10 AM┬áBy John O’Brien -Statehouse Bureau

CHARLESTONWest Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw is worried farmers are spending more for soybeans that are producing identical returns as less expensive ones.

McGraw wrote Monsanto Co. vice president David Snively last week to express his concern with promotions geared to encourage farmers to switch from soybeans with the Roundup Ready trait to those with the Roundup Ready 2 trait.

He says, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2009’s soybean output of 41 bushels per acre is the same as the previous year.

“Although we are aware that Monsanto’s initial commercial Roundup Ready 2 Yield sales for 2009 were not a full scale rollout, we would have expected to see some increased yield for West Virginia as a result of your company’s representation to farmers,” McGraw wrote.

“I am aware that other factors contribute to yields varying from year to year, such as weather or soil conditions, but virtually all of the studies conducted by major universities and independent testing companies corroborate West Virginia’s experience.”

Monsanto advertised increased yields of 7 percent-11 percent. McGraw said he welcomes a meeting with the company before litigation.

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