DEKALB Root System Delivers Deeper Roots To Help Plants Withstand Drought Stress This Planting Season

Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:00am EDT

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ST. LOUIS,  March 13, 2013  /PRNewswire/ -- With the effects of last season's
drought still being felt in many states, farmers are looking for ways to help
mitigate risk as they head into planting season.  Farmers across the
Corn-Growing Area have selected DEKALB drought-tolerant corn plants with deep,
strong root structures to help withstand drought conditions and reduce yield

A root comparison study was conducted at Monsanto's Gothenburg Water Utilization
Learning Center in  Gothenburg, Neb., that showed the benefits of deeper root
systems. The study incorporated a root dig and revealed the featured  DEKALB 
product to have a significantly deeper, more evenly spread root structure than
competitive products.  DEKALB  brand's thick, deep root structure allows corn
plants to reach crucial moisture locked within the subsoil, sucking up more
water, nutrients and ultimately leading to healthier ears and outstanding yield

"DEKALB brand has really been a leader in the development of what's going on
below ground, so they can produce 700 to 800 kernels per ear," said  Michael
Petersen, lead agronomist with Orthman Manufacturing, a tillage and earth-moving
company which participated in the root dig excavation.  

Petersen said because more water and more nutrients are contained from 30 to 80
inches below ground, deeper roots can help plants withstand lengthy drought
stress. "We see that when we have a deeper root system, it has a chance to be
able to get water from all of that soil profile compared with only taking it
predominantly from the upper 20 inches," he explained.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor accessed through the USDA website, many
states across  the United States  currently display drought conditions ranging
from severe to exceptional, including regions in the Western Great Plains. For 
2013, corn farmers in these areas can look forward to deeper roots and strong
yields with DEKALB Genuity DroughtGard Hybrids-Monsanto's latest tool for
combating drought stress.  DEKALB  will lead the stewarded commercial
introduction of new Genuity DroughtGard Hybrids this season.

Genuity DroughtGard Hybrids combine the  DEKALB  brand's drought-tolerant
genetics, which have been developed through the brand's industry leading
breeding program, with the industry's first drought-tolerant biotech trait and
agronomic practices. In the 2012 growing season, Genuity DroughtGard Hybrids
experienced strong performance in trials, with commercial products showing a
yield advantage of more than 5 bushels-per-acre over competitor hybrids.

"The  Gothenburg  root dig demonstrated the superiority of DEKALB
drought-tolerant genetics," said  Mark Reiman, Monsanto's Gothenburg Learning
Center agronomist.  "Combining those breeding genetics with the new
drought-tolerant biotech trait in DroughtGard Hybrids will mean the potential
for even more powerful yield protection for  DEKALB  farmers in 2013."  

To see time-lapse photos of the root dig and video interviews with the
participants, visit  For more information about 
DEKALB, farmers can contact their local  DEKALB  Dealer, visit
and follow its business on  

About Monsanto Company

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agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto
remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce
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This data is from a one-location one-year study with three replications
performed under limited irrigation conditions meant to stress the products
during the grain fill period. Plot Harvested:  9/18/2012  and 10/18/2012.  

The Genuity DroughtGard Hybrids trait has been deregulated by the U.S.
Department of Agriculture. Import approvals in key corn export markets with
functioning regulatory systems are in progress. For 2013, DroughtGard Hybrids
will be commercially available in the western Great Plains area to growers who
have signed and agree to follow the Genuity DroughtGard Hybrids Stewardship
Agreement. It is a violation of national and international law to move material
containing biotech traits across boundaries into nations where import is not

Individual results may vary, and performance may vary from location to location
and from year to year. This result may not be an indicator of results you may
obtain as local growing, soil and weather conditions may vary. Growers should
evaluate data from multiple locations and years whenever possible.   

Genuity are trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC. All other trademarks are the
property of their respective owners. ©2013 Monsanto Company.

 Contact  Danielle Stuart (314-694-2478)  

SOURCE  Monsanto Company

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