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Scott Partridge, Monsanto vice president of global strategy. File photo taken Jan. 17, 2017, at Mankato, Minn. (Mikkel Pates/Agweek)

Monsanto responds to dicamba marketing allegations

Speaking at a Farm and Ranch Economic Summit in Bismarck, N.D., last month, David Ripplinger, an NDSU assistant professor of agricultural economics and bioenergy and bioproducts economist, said there will be a significant increase in dicamba-soybean production in 2018. Ripplinger also speculated that perhaps the companies producing dicamba-resistant soybeans had planned on that defensive response from the start.

You can read that story by clicking here.

Agweek reached out to Monsanto prior to the story's publication but did not get a response prior to deadline, but the company did decide to offer its perspective.

Scott Partridge, Monsanto vice president of global strategy, said Ripplinger’s suspicions are wrong that companies are in a conspiracy of “monopoly or coercion” to gain market share for dicamba-resistant beans.

Partridge said that visual soybean impacts of leaf-cupping in 2018 did not turn into expected yield losses and that these are “lawyer-invented claims.” He said lawyers filing yield damage suits were not seeing actual damage evidence so instead are turning to antitrust allegations. Partridge said those claims are “not going to slow us down in bringing innovations for farmers to tackle problems on their farms.”

“Our job is to bring new tools to help growers solve problems on their farms,” Partridge said. “It’s actually a contradiction to think that bringing innovation into a space decreases competition. Actually, bringing innovation brings new tools and alternatives that increase competition.”

One seed company executive in North Dakota who asked not to be identified by name said the Monsanto estimations of 40 to 50 percent dicamba-resistant bean projection for 2018 may be accurate in North Dakota, but possibly at the low end because the northern part of the state doesn't have high incidence of herbicide-resistant weeds that the chemistry is designed to grapple with.