MONSANTO BUYS NC+ HYBRIDS

AMERICAN SEEDS INC. MAKES PURCHASE

ANOTHER MAJOR regional seed company joins the Monsanto fold. Monsanto's holding company called American Seeds Inc. (ASI) recently purchased NC+ Hybrids, headquartered in Lincoln, NE. In November, ASI purchased Channel Bio Corporation, which includes Crow's Hybrid Corn Company, Midwest Seed Genetics, and Wilson Seeds. NC+ will be an operating subsidiary of Channel Bio, according to a NC+ news release.

RR BEANS LIMITED

MONSANTO PULLS ROUNDUP READY LICENSES

A STANDOFF on licensing agreements between Syngenta and Monsanto is likely to restrict availability of Roundup Ready (RR) soybeans from Golden Harvest in 2006 and from Garst seed dealers in 2007. At issue is how Syngenta's recent acquisitions of Golden Harvest and Garst will affect various trait licensing agreements with Syngenta's competitor Monsanto.

Monsanto, which controls the patent on RR soybeans, has reportedly decided not to renew its RR soybean licensing agreements with Golden Harvest. In the case of Garst, Monsanto has said it will not renew that licensing agreement when it expires in 2007. So for 2006, the Golden Harvest brand will have no RR soybeans. Garst will be allowed to sell RR soybeans under its brand for another two years until its license runs out. In response, Syngenta will make NK Brand RR soybeans available to Golden Harvest and Garst seed dealers to meet customer demand.

TRACTORS ABROAD

U.S.-built ag equipment is popular in other countries. U.S. agricultural equipment exports rose nearly 19% last year, bringing the total volume of exports to $5.7 billion. The biggest customers of U.S. ag equipment (in order) were Canada, $1.6 billion; Australia, $616 million; Mexico, $525 million; France, $297 million; Germany, $255 million; United Kingdom, $216.5 million; Brazil, $186.5 million; Belgium, $143 million; Japan, $116.5 million; and South Africa, $115 million.
Association of Equipment Manufacturers

AGCO SALES UP

AGCO posted a positive 2004 earnings report. The company reported a net income per share of $0.52/share for the fourth quarter. This is up from $0.39/share in 2003. Net sales for the full year of 2004 at $5.3 billion is a 51% increase over 2003 sales.

AGCO CEO Martin Richenhaen reported that “sales growth and cost reduction were keys to [AGCO's] higher profitability. Stronger markets in North and South America contributed to achieving 14% sales growth, excluding currency and acquisitions in 2004.”

DEERE INCOME UP

John Deere reported a worldwide net income of $222.8 million, or $0.89/share for the first quarter ending January 31. This compares to last year's first-quarter net income of $170.8 million, or $0.68/share.
Doane's Agricultural Report