Monsanto Company has announced changes to its WestBred wheat seed distribution model designed to enhance business and expand opportunities for its seed partners and their growers.
“Wheat is a vital, global crop planted on over 500 million acres and supplying 25% of the world’s calories,” said Jeff Koscelny, Monsanto U.S. Wheat Commercial Lead. “Experts agree production must increase by 40% by 2050 to meet global demand. New investments, technologies and innovations in wheat will be critical to keep up with this soaring global demand.”
The new seed supplier-focused model will move the WestBred wheat seed business toward a more service-based approach. WestBred wheat seed suppliers will see a variety of immediate benefits as a result of these changes, such as the availability of more technical knowledge and additional wheat experts in the field supporting the WestBred brand. The changes will also result in better inventory management and improved product value, according to company officials.
“By making these changes, we are able to better share valuable knowledge that can significantly impact our partners’ businesses, with both short-term and long-term positive results,” said Koscelny. “We believe the new model will result in better agronomic data, leading to improved varietal development targeted to region-specific needs.”
Since acquiring the assets of Western Plant Breeders and WestBred® LLC in 2009, Monsanto has invested numerous resources into improving all aspects of its wheat business, including dedicating more personnel to wheat and applying multiple technologies from other agricultural systems to improve wheat productivity.
“Many incredible agronomic innovations are coming down the pipeline with the potential to benefit wheat farmers, including continuous advancements in breeding, biotechnology and data science which can improve crop protection and yields,” said Koscelny. “WestBred wheat strives to be a leader in delivering these innovations to our farmer customers.”
The new strategy is the latest example of Monsanto’s commitment to wheat innovation and better knowledge transfer. It follows the recent opening of the Wheat Technology Center in Twin Falls, Idaho, where Monsanto has established its primary wheat breeding research and development in the United States.
Monsanto has also been hiring more commercial wheat personnel to support these expanded efforts and more substantially impact its WestBred brand and business. Recent appointments include: Chris Hansen as Wheat Commercial Manager for the Central Region, operating from Kansas; Tim Watts as Wheat Commercial Manager of the Northwest Region, working out of Washington; Steve Sebesta as Wheat Commercial Manager of the Northern Region, operating out of North Dakota; Dennis Delaney as the new Wheat Seed Supply Manager, working out of the St Louis office; and Kaitlyn Nelson as the new Marketing Communications Specialist, who lives in Texas but is supporting the overall marketing efforts. These additional personnel, combined with the already highly effective team, clearly illustrate Monsanto’s commitment to wheat.