Will corporate mergers in agriculture spur innovation?

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[Editor’s note: Ed Wiederstein is a former president of the Iowa Farm Bureau and a farmer in Iowa.]

When funding was more plentiful, land-grant universities and extension offices were able to dedicate more resources to fostering ag innovation. Now, private industry plays a greater role in this arena, and farmers have proven willing to invest in technologies companies are producing through private research and development.

For private companies working on these advancements, staying ahead can be difficult. Innovative new technologies can require over a decade and hundreds of millions of dollars to develop and approve, and private companies are willing to take the risk for these advancements that may or may not yield a return.

Ed Wiederstein Head Shot
Ed Wiederstein

However, it can be argued this amount of time and money can be significantly reduced when leaders in the industry work together towards a common goal. That may be one of the driving factors behind why several major ag companies like Bayer and Monsanto and Dow and DuPont are looking to collaborate more through merging operations.

It will be important … to not only consider those potential outcomes that give us pause, but also think critically on the benefits we could see from greater collaboration between ag’s power players.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Ag mergers could lead to new advancements for farmers

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