When Round Up Ready soybeans were introduced, alternative weed control
materials were costing in the neighborhood of $50 per acre and up. RR beans
enabled better weed control at maybe $20 per acre (partially offset by a
higher seed cost). It was a big incentive to change. However, the competing
input suppliers quickly reacted with drastic cost reductions in the other
control materials. The Monsanto cost advantage evaporated and RR bean
adoption slowed down. It seems obvious from this observation that Monsanto
may have increased it's previous share of the input market and it may have
scored big in the market for hybrid soybean seed, but it isn't taking over
by a long ways. Nor will it.
At 11:55 AM 9/2/98 -0500, Andrew McGuire wrote:
>....makes the assumption that farmers will buy these crops to completely
>replace the ones they already have and can save.
>Don't farmers have a choice to make? They are not being forced to buy
>these seeds. I think that whatever we may say here about these
>technologies, the farmer is the one who makes or breaks them. Are all the
>farmers who have planted Roundup Ready corn and soybeans, or Bt corn being
>duped by the chemical companies? I don't think so. I believe that they
>are making the decisions that they think are best for them, at that time,
>in their situation. I may not agree with their decision, but I am not a
>farmer and so can only comment.
>The question I have is what makes one farmer choose to farm in a way that
>most of us would think of as responsible, and others (the majority) to farm
>in other ways? What is the motivation of one vs. the other? It is
>obvious that arguments against transgenic crops have not made a big impact
>in their decisions so far, so do we change our strategy, if there is one?
> Maybe some of the farmers on the list could comment.
If the market for seeds, weed control inputs, and fertilizers weren't
"free" to sort this stuff out according to the economics of the situation
we would not be at all happy with the results. The legalism of Regulation
is a fatally flawed and central planning is a total failure. If changing
the outcomes of farmer decisions in these production practices is going to
be accomplished, market-compatible strategies are going to have to be
Agricultural Conservation Innovation Center (ACIC)
2234 S. Hobson Ave.
Charleston, SC 29405-2413
phone: (843) 740-1327
fax: (843) 740-1331
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