ST. LOUIS, and LUBBOCK, Texas -- Monsanto Company and ARMtech Insurance Services, an operating subsidiary of Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd., announce that U.S. farmers can choose an additional risk management tool with Biotech Yield Assurance(SM) for the 2011 growing season. The crop insurance program, developed by approved insurance provider ARMtech in cooperation with Monsanto, links an insurance policy to the yield benefits of Genuity(R) Roundup Ready 2 Yield(R) soybeans, Genuity SmartStax(TM) and SmartStax(TM) corn.

For an incremental premium, Biotech Yield Assurance(SM) will enable eligible farmers to increase coverage by 10 percent of the existing yield guarantee for each insured unit that is 100 percent planted to Genuity(R) Roundup Ready 2 Yield(R) soybeans in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota and each insured unit that is 95 percent planted to Genuity SmartStax(TM) and SmartStax corn in the states of Iowa and Minnesota.

"Monsanto's trials have shown that Genuity(R) Roundup Ready 2 Yield(R) soybeans and Genuity(R) SmartStax(TM) corn are consistent in high-yield production, allowing ARMtech to insure this additional yield with the new Biotech Yield Assurance(SM) policy," said Ted Etheredge, President of ARMtech.

"Biotech Yield Assurance(SM) policy can help address the risk gap between new high-yielding genetics and actual production history (APH) used for insurance purposes," Etheredge added. "For example, a grower with an APH of 50 bushels and a Biotech Yield Assurance(SM) policy for Genuity(R) Roundup Ready 2 Yield(R) soybeans can bring his total unit coverage to 93.5 percent and insure an additional 4.25 bushels. That's compared to a Multi-Peril Crop Insurance policy covering 85 percent of APH – the highest coverage possible under federal crop insurance policies today."

If this farmer chooses 80 percent coverage, then Biotech Yield Assurance(SM) would provide total unit coverage of 88 percent of the APH, resulting in coverage of an additional 4 bushels.

"This is a really innovative insurance product, unlike anything we've seen in the industry," said Rob Heyen, a farmer, a principal at Crop Insurance Solutions and an appointed crop insurance agent of ARMtech. "Having an insurance product built on the strength of Genuity(R) SmartStax(TM) and Genuity(R) Roundup Ready 2 Yield(R) gives the traits additional value for farmers."

This is the second risk management tool associated with the insurance industry in which Monsanto has played a key role. In 2008, Monsanto originated the Biotech Yield Endorsement(R) program, the original program behind the Biotechnology Endorsement (BE), which lowers insurance premiums for corn farmers in 12 states who meet the program eligibility requirements and plant qualifying corn hybrids. The BE was approved by the Board of Directors of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC).

"We recognize farmers have a lot of opportunity and risk on every acre. It is exciting to be able to work with the insurance industry to bring innovative risk management solutions like the Biotechnology Endorsement and now Biotech Yield Assurance(SM) to help our customers manage risk," said Dr. Robert T. Fraley, Monsanto's Chief Technology Officer. "With Biotech Yield Assurance(SM), there is now third-party acceptance from a leading insurance company of the lower risk of yield loss that Genuity(R) Roundup Ready 2 Yield(R) and Genuity(R) SmartStax(TM)  offer farmers, which is consistent with our research and development objectives."

ARMtech filed the Biotech Yield Assurance(SM) policy as a non-reinsured supplemental insurance policy with the states' insurance regulatory agencies and the USDA's Risk Management Agency, which administers the programs on behalf of the FCIC. Biotech Yield Assurance(SM) is not subsidized by the FCIC. Farmers interested in learning more about the program should contact ARMtech and other participating insurance providers.

Pending approval by each state's insurance regulatory agency and a review by the Risk Management Agency, the policy will be available for 2011 as a supplement to Multi-Peril Crop Insurance products.

SOURCE: Monsanto.