November 11, 2009 / 1:11 AM / 9 years ago

FACTBOX: Who's who in biotech seed arena

(Reuters) - While Monsanto Co is considered a leader in research, development and marketing of genetically modified crops, a handful of other corporate giants are also staking a claim to feeding the world with biotech corn, soy and other crops.

The companies all say they are focused on products that will increase crop yields, aid farmers and offer better nutrition for consumers. Here’s a look at some of the top players:

* Monsanto Co - Based in St. Louis, the company posted record net sales of $11.7 billion and net income of $2.1 billion for fiscal 2009. Among its key products are corn, soybeans and cotton that tolerate weed-killing treatments and resist pests.

* Pioneer Hi-Bred - Subsidiary of DuPont based in Johnston, Iowa. Produces, markets and sells hybrid seed in nearly 70 countries worldwide and is the closest rival to Monsanto for market share in U.S. biotech corn seed market. Revenue totaled $4 billion in 2008.

* Syngenta AG - The Basel, Switzerland-based company operates in 90 countries and generated 2008 sales of $11.6 billion. Collaborating with International Rice Research Institute to improve rice.

* Dow AgroSciences - Subsidiary of Dow Chemical Co based in Indianapolis, Indiana. With global sales of $4.5 billion, company offers insect-protected corn and cotton, among other seed products, and is expanding its research into wheat.

* BASF - Based in Ludwigshafen, Germany, this leading global chemical company is increasingly focusing its health and nutrition division on plant biotechnology to increase crop yields. Like its rivals, BASF is working on a drought-tolerant corn seed. Revenue in its agricultural division totaled 3.4 billion euros in 2008.

* Bayer CropScience AG - The unit of Bayer AG, had 2008 sales of 6.4 billion euros and operates in 120 countries. The company is pursuing 56 “bioscience” research projects involving six crops

Reporting by Carey Gillam; Editing by Walter Bagley

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