Monsanto Company has announced it has formed a separate business unit, Cotton States, to serve as a foundation cottonseed licensing business. Cotton States will develop and license germplasm from various cotton genetic providers — including a wide variety of small and large cotton breeders, universities and cotton seed companies — that can be used by seed companies and distributors to create new cotton varieties for American producers.

“Variety development is an important building block and is essential to provide the best products to the American cotton producer,” said Mark Edge, lead for Monsanto's Cotton States unit.

“Monsanto is committed to making a broad range of varieties widely available so that breeders have greater access to the marketplace, and that growers will ultimately have more cotton varieties from which to choose.”

Cotton States complements Monsanto's long-standing commitment to broadly license traits developed through biotechnology and will provide an additional delivery mechanism for our biotech innovations in cotton, Edge noted.

“Monsanto will continue to support our broad licensing strategy and our commitment to put the best possible products into the hands of our customers,” Edge said.

“Cotton States will enhance Monsanto's ability to successfully introduce new cutting-edge technologies into leading germplasm and that means the latest technological advances in cotton will be made available to seed companies,” said Edge.

“This unit and the on-going work with our established seed partners helps to insure that American cotton growers are provided these technologies in the best genetic packages available from a variety of sources,” Edge said.

Cotton States will expand the American cotton producers' access to Monsanto's cotton traits developed through biotechnology — including Bollgard insect-protected cotton, Roundup Ready cotton and Bollgard II insect-protected cotton. In the future, once appropriate regulatory approvals have been granted, Monsanto will offer new biotech traits through both existing seed partners and Cotton States licensed germplasm.

Anticipated new products include the next generation of agronomic traits such as Roundup Ready, Flex cotton, as well as a new generation of yield and quality traits for cotton producers.