In a recent interview with Bloomberg’s Drake Bennett, the anchor of the show “In the Loop,” Betty Liu, discussed the Monsanto Company’s (NYSE:MON) decision to use big data to help farmers.
Bennett said that Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON), which was mainly a provider of seeds to farmers for the last 10 years, consisting of genetically modifies seeds as well as conventional seeds, has decided to make use of big data in helping farmers take right decisions.
“Big data has obviously transformed a lot of parts of our life, but farming is kind of rife for it. You know by some estimates, there is 40 to 50 decisions that a typical corn farmer would make over the course of a season and the goal here is to really take a lot of a guess work out of that and to provide him with actionable intelligence,” he said.
Speaking on the issues between the company and some farmers which led to legal disputes, Bennett said that Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) had sued some farmers, and they would continue to do so because of some farmers using the seeds from a genetically modified crop area without paying a premium to the company.
Such incidents lead to farmers using the company’s technology without the company benefiting in terms of revenue and as Bennett mentioned; the courts have agreed with the company in those cases that have gone for trial, thus strengthening the position of the company.
Bennett added that despite facing bad times in 2000 after the spun-off from the previously merged company, Pharmacia Corp., Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) did well in the years after that, and since then the net income had gone up from $150 million to $2.5 Billion and it also has an improved valuation.
“A lot of the research they do is not in genetically modified seeds, it’s in conventional breeding, which is what farmers have done for thousands of years. But what they are doing at Monsanto is this incredibly sped up version of using robots and gene sequencers and computer simulations and these crazy devices they build. So a lot of the research, almost as much of it as is going into the Biotech stuff is going into this other sort of breeding” said Bennett.