Viewpoint: How the Monsanto-Bayer merger threatens livelihoods of rural America

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[Writer Austin Frerick lives in Winterset, Iowa and is a former economist at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.]

Iowa farmers face a crisis. Crop prices have fallen by more than 50 percent since 2013, with no end in sight.

Meanwhile, a wave of mergers among the world’s agricultural giants is upending the markets for seeds, fertilizers and pesticides. If approved, the proposed merger would result in just two companies — Monsanto-Bayer and Dow-DuPont — controlling about three-quarters of the U.S. corn seed market.

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The price of corn seed has more than doubled in the past 10 years — from $51 per acre in 2006 to

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Austin Frerick

$102 in 2015 — as a result of similar consolidation….. If the Monsanto-Bayer merger is permitted, this problem will only intensify, further limiting farmers’ choices and making the products they need even more expensive.

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Yet this mega-merger is moving forward with barely a murmur of concern from our elected officials in Washington. Not a single senator raised this matter at confirmation hearings for Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

Time and again, studies have shown that monopolies result in less innovation, fewer choices and higher prices for farmers and consumers. We cannot continue to line the pockets of wealthy executives in far-off big cities. By breaking up these giants, we can restore competition and bring vitality back to Iowa’s rural communities.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: To save rural Iowa, we must oppose Monsanto-Bayer merger

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