As RoundUp Sales Declines, Monsanto Drops Independent Seed Company Selling Competitor’s Traits.
(West Point, IA) — Merschman Seeds, an independent seed company based in West Point, Iowa, received notice from Monsanto that their licenses of Monsanto products would not be renewed. Merschman Seeds has been producing seed using Monsanto traits for 21 years.
Sales of Monsanto-based products, including RoundUp Ready® resistant seeds, has steadily declined for Merschman Seeds, while competitive brands that Merschman also carries, including LibertyLink® from Bayer, have increased.
“Part of the problem has been weed resistance to herbicides. We’ve seen RoundUp use decline year-after-year as herbicide resistant weeds have increased,” explains Joe Merschman, President and CEO of Merschman Seeds. “Our sales of LibertyLink® soybeans started jumping a few years ago in the southern states and have increased every year as the weed resistance issue has migrated north. Farmers need a product that works. As an independent company, it has always been our policy to provide multiple
solutions and to recommend the ones that work best.”
This philosophy seemed to be the motivation for Monsanto to drop the independent dealer. In an email sent to Joe Merschman from Corn States, a division of Monsanto, it stated, “After considering the
situation, we would prefer to present our products through other seed companies that we believe are interested in being and can be better promoters of our technology.”
Mr. Merschman is not overly concerned about the news. “Monsanto products have become less and less of a factor for our customers over the years. We have soybean products in Merschman GT and LibertyLink® traits that are performing beyond our expectations that have been bigger sellers for us. And soon Balance GT™ and Enlist E3™ soybean traits will be available pending final registrations, which we believe will be real game changers. Enlist E3™ will allow, for the first time ever, tolerance to three different herbicide modes of action and Balance GT™ will be released initially with two modes of action and soon after three with the addition of LibertyLink®”