Cotton producers — and the agricultural retail network that supports them — should realize some significant benefits from the integration of Monsanto Company and Emergent Genetics currently under way.

A higher level of sales and technical support, faster development of new cotton varieties, and a wider selection of varieties with Monsanto technology traits are just a few of the improvements that producers and retailers can anticipate in the wake of the two companies joining forces, according to Monsanto and Emergent Genetics officials.

“Specific to our presence in the South, we will be investing even more in facilities and people resources to grow this business and better meet the needs of our customers,” said John Raines, U.S. Marketing Lead for Monsanto. “By combining the brand strength and cotton breeding expertise of Emergent Genetics with Monsanto’s leading research, development and manufacturing capabilities, we’ll be in a position to create even more value to farmers who grow not only cotton, but also key rotational crops such as corn and soybeans.”

Raines adds that both farmers and retailers should now have quicker and easier access to crop information and technologies that apply to cotton and the other major crops they grow and support.

“The integration of the Emergent Genetics field sales and technical development representatives into the current Monsanto Coastal Region structure will result in more people and smaller territories than the former structures of both emergent Genetics and Monsanto sales and technical support,” Raines said.

Don Threet, former vice-president of Emergent’s U.S. business, who will be national accounts manager for cotton in his new position with Monsanto, emphasizes that the new integrated organization will offer a breadth of sales and technical forces that will be unparalleled in the cotton industry. “Growers will have better access to information and more choices in germplasm in both existing and new cotton technologies,” he explained. “New germplasm and technologies will be brought to the market through the use of molecular markers and bi-parental crosses.”

Currently, both the Monsanto and Emergent Genetics sales organizations are focused on concluding the 2005 season, operating separately and reporting to their current management. The new sales structure will go into effect in July, and the new sales teams will work to complete the initial transition by Aug. 1, 2005. From August onward, the newly aligned territories and the integrated business plan for 2006 will be in effect, Raines said.