“New entrants into the business are continuing to change the way the business of agriculture works.” —Trish Jordan 16 www.seed.ab.ca | Advancing Seed in Alberta breeding programs have remained intact, and heavy regulation has meant that competition remains strong. He hopes these larger entities could also have increased power in lobbying for increasing government funding for research. “More research is needed to find solutions to problems that we are currently struggling with in Canadian farming, such as Fusarium in wheat,” he says. “We don’t have a solution to Fusarium right now and it is possible that solution will come from seed. We hope that these merged companies will have the means to invest in research at a more intense level.” Trish Jordan, public and industry affairs director with Monsanto, agrees. “The merger between Monsanto and Bayer is driven by the need for investment, and to continue to drive research and development on both the seed and the chemical sides of the business,” she says. “This industry has always balanced competition with collaboration. Agriculture still has more than 3,500 companies across North America that provide goods and services, and the change from six to three big life sciences WINS YIELD & CLUBROOT BATTLES SUPERIOR YIELDS AND AGRONOMIC PERFORMANCE, WITH CLUBROOT RESISTANCE cpsagu.ca Always follow grain marketing and all other stewardship practices and pesticide label directions. Details of these requirements can be found in the Trait Stewardship Responsibilities Notice to Farmers printed in this publication. Genuity and Design® , Roundup Ready® and Roundup® are registered trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC, Monsanto Canada Inc. licensee. Pioneer® brand products are provided subject to the terms and conditions of purchase which are part of the labeling and purchase documents. Pioneer® , the trapezoid symbol, and Protector® are registered trademarks of Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. CPS CROP PRODUCTION SERVICES and Design is a registered trademark of Crop Production Services, Inc. 10/17-56763-2 56763-2 CPS_Proven_PV581GC_Clubroot_7-125x3-25_a1.indd 1 2017-10-03 11:37 AM companies is really just allowing for greater investment into the industry.” Jordan says Bayer and Monsanto have very little overlap, and any duplication will be addressed through global regulatory networks in advance of finalizing the deal. She admits growers worry about having fewer choices – but in fact they could have more choice as the combined products and services offer a larger combination of solutions. “New entrants into the business are continuing to change the way the business of agriculture works,” she says. “There are countless startups in the business of digital farming and analytics that will enhance some of the products we offer to help improve farming. While there is a lot of change right now, the agriculture businessplace is not shrinking.” Jordan adds it would not be in any business’s best interest to alienate their customers, and their research is completed with the end customer in mind. “If we create $1 of a benefit on a new product innovation, then a farmer needs to see a portion of it, the retailer needs to have their share, we need to secure a percentage and then we reinvest it into bringing the next innovation to the market,” she says. “If we aren’t offering the options that growers are asking for, then we won’t be successful as a business.” For growers concerned about competition, Jordan stresses the global competition process is very demanding, and that each country’s regulatory body looks at individual pieces of the combined business and it decides if it is adding or detracting to competition in the marketplace. “If they see that a company has too much impact in a certain area, they may ask them to divest that interest,” she says. Weidler says for Bayer and Monsanto, in the short-term growers won’t really see any change as the new business’s number one focus will be on serving their customer. “At the end of the day, we have to make sure that our business relationships are intact and that we are able to provide the same level of service as we have in the past,” he says. “Our number one principle going forward is no interruption in service. It will then be up to us to prove to the grower and to consumers how these combined companies will be better for them in the long term.” Jennifer Barber