Monsanto Co. posted a surprise fourth-quarter profit and said it still expects a surge in sales of a controversial line of genetically modified soybeans, despite complaints that an herbicide used along with the seeds has damaged some U.S. crops.
The St. Louis-based company also said its Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans will cover more than 20 million acres in the U.S. in 2017 and in excess of 40 million next year.
There has been speculation the company would take a hit from problems experienced by some growers this year as they apply dicamba, a weedkiller that Xtend seeds have been genetically modified to withstand. In some cases, the chemical has been “drifiting” across other fields that aren’t planted with dicamba-resistant crops. At least 2.5 million acres (1 million hectares) were damaged in the latest growing season through mid-July, according to one estimate.
The issue led Missouri and Arkansas to implement temporary bans on dicamba earlier this year. Monsanto maintains that errors in applying the pesticide are to blame for any damage. But some observers question whether the chemical is drifting because it’s too volatile.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Monsanto Shrugs Off Herbicide Concerns With Surprise Profit