Corn Farmers Who Use Monsanto Advanced Technology Now Eligible for Lower Risk Premiums in Four-State Insurance Pilot Program

ST. LOUIS, Dec. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Farmers in four pilot states who plant a majority of their corn acres using hybrid seeds that feature YieldGard Plus(R) with Roundup Ready(R) Corn 2 or YieldGard VT Triple(TM) technology from Monsanto Company will be able to lower their crop insurance premiums in 2008.

The Risk Management Agency (RMA) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) yesterday announced the planned implementation of the Biotech Yield Endorsement, or BYE, for the 2008 crop year. BYE is an innovative crop insurance feature that will lower insurance premiums for non-irrigated corn producers in the pilot states and is available to be offered by all approved insurance providers.

The pilot will initially be available in four states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Minnesota with potential expansion to other states depending on results from the pilot program. Today, only Monsanto Company YieldGard triple-stack technologies are approved for the BYE program.

“The BYE pilot program rewards corn growers for using technologies that help them manage risk on their farms,” said Robb Fraley, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Monsanto Company. “Much like a ‘safe-driver’ discount in auto-insurance, this program recognizes that our technologies are able to consistently deliver higher yields year after year.”

The BYE is a new crop insurance feature that lowers premiums for non-irrigated corn producers. The average cost of a total policy premium will be reduced by approximately 14 percent on revenue assurance policies, such as Actual Production History, Revenue Assurance, and Crop Production Coverage. On average, this discount will amount to more than $2 per acre on the grower-paid portion of the premium.

“Producers are managing risk through crop insurance and by utilizing biotechnology. Biotech traits clearly reduce the risks for corn growers while increasing their yields. A crop insurance premium discount is one more benefit to using the technology,” said National Corn Growers Association President Rick Tolman.

To be eligible, farmers must plant at least 75 percent of their corn acres on an insured unit basis to corn hybrids containing YieldGard VT Triple or YieldGard Plus with Roundup Ready Corn 2 technologies. EPA-mandated refuge requirements must also be respected.

The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) Board of Directors approved the BYE pilot program on September 12, 2007. The BYE was co-submitted to the FCIC by Monsanto Company and Western Agricultural Insurance Company. Program details regarding BYE will be released and available on the RMA website at, in the near future. Producers interested in BYE should contact their local crop insurance representative.

“The BYE crop insurance feature is a ‘first-of-its-kind’ in the insurance industry,” said Bruce Trost, Executive Vice President of Western Agricultural Insurance Company. “We believe that biotech innovations deliver real value to America’s farmers, and are critical to their future success. We’re pleased to co-sponsor this groundbreaking product and to make it available to all farmer customers through their approved insurance provider.”

Monsanto Company spent more than two years gathering and analyzing thousands of data points from 3 harvest years. Massive amounts of this data set was derived from numerous field trials spanning the 3-year period and was provided in the BYE submission to USDA. This data clearly demonstrated that Monsanto YieldGard triple-stack technologies deliver more consistent yields, effectively lowering risk.

Harvest results from 2007 re-affirm the 2004-2006 data submitted in support of the BYE. Extensive data from the recently harvested crop showed that YieldGard VT Triple offered a double digit yield advantage over competitive technologies. These YieldGard triple-stack technologies are widely available to farmers and can be purchased through more than 250 corn seed companies that license the technologies.

In 2007, there were more than 90 million acres of corn planted in the United States, the largest corn crop since 1944. According to 2006 harvest statistics provided by the National Corn Growers Association, the four BYE pilot states accounted for more than 50 percent of the corn acres harvested for grain in the United States.

Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. For more information on Monsanto, see

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