Skip to main content

View Diary: DOJ quietly drops investigation of Monsanto (145 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  You're just being too simplistic here. (33+ / 0-)

    It's not just a matter of market share. It's a matter of pricing and an uncompetitive market environment. The reason they have so many customers (mainly corporate farms) is because they (corporate farms) HAVE NO CHOICE. And prices keep rising because of that. The farmer who was on 200 acres but was convinced by the USDA to get bigger and is now on 2000 or 3000 acres has little choice on where he gets his seeds and his chemicals. In fact, he has almost no choice at all.

    I hope that clears it up.

    "Fortunately, I'm adhering to a pretty strict, uh, drug regimen to keep my mind, you know, uh, limber." The Dude

    by Methinks They Lie on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 02:08:06 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  I agree with your description, but not with your (10+ / 0-)

      assumptions. Monsanto did well because they provided farmers (yes larger works better for the purpose) with a lower cost set of inputs. They did this by underpricing Roundup to capture the market. Farmers did very well switching to Monsanto RR corn and soy. So well, Monsanto worked out a cost sharing program. For many years, farmers used a less toxic herbicide (atrazine is far more dangerous for people and wildlife than Roundup), lowered their herbicide bill and had a good yield.
      It's not that farmers have no choice (choices are getting slim because of seed co. consolidation), they didn't have choices as low cost as Monsanto's. Now that resistance is to Roundup is widespread, the patent expired and farmers unhappy with the higher costs of double or triple stacked Monsanto seeds, that equation is changing.

      This amount of consolidation in any field is not good in the long run, in seed companies, very dangerous.

      Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

      by the fan man on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 03:46:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely right. I failed to mention the lower (19+ / 0-)

        cost of inputs side of it. But you're right, they did under price RoundUp to capture farmers and now that they're caught they have little choice but to chase Monsanto et. al. down the escalation path.

        In terms of yield, the plant scientist Masanobu Fukuoka I think put it succinctly. He said, and this was back in the '80's, that any discussion of yield must be understood in terms of loss. That there is a set point (or upper threshold) at which nature allows in production and that we can never exceed this threshold but only think in terms of "reduction of yield" or crop loss. So when Monsanto talks in terms of "increasing yields" it's not they can increase yields above a given threshold for a particular crop, but that yields won't be subject to as much loss as another method. So they managed to reduce losses for a time as compared to other herbicides (which developed their own resistant weeds and were far more toxic than RoundUp) but are now right back where they started. Their only answer to this mess is to develop crops that allow chemical cocktails so that more chemicals will be sold and sprayed and inevitably more resistant weeds will be created.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

  • Recommended (151)
  • Community (71)
  • Baltimore (68)
  • Bernie Sanders (49)
  • Freddie Gray (38)
  • Civil Rights (38)
  • Elections (28)
  • Hillary Clinton (27)
  • Culture (24)
  • Racism (23)
  • Labor (20)
  • Education (20)
  • Law (19)
  • Rescued (19)
  • Economy (19)
  • Media (19)
  • Science (16)
  • 2016 (15)
  • Politics (15)
  • Barack Obama (14)
  • Click here for the mobile view of the site