An overwhelming majority of surveyed farmers are concerned about the proposed Bayer-Monsanto merger and believe it will have a negative impact on independent farmers and farming communities, a poll released on March 6 has found. According to the poll, of the farmers who responded: 93.7 percent are concerned about the proposed merger of Bayer and Monsanto (82.8 percent are very concerned/10.9 percent somewhat concerned); 93.7 percent of farmers are concerned that the proposed Bayer-Monsanto merger will negatively impact independent farmers and farming communities (83.9 percent are very concerned/9.8 percent somewhat concerned);
The farmer’s top three concerns of the merger are:
91.9 percent of farmers are concerned that the merged company will use its dominance in one product to push sales of other products (79.6 percent very concerned/12.3 percent somewhat concerned);
91.7 percent of farmers are concerned that Bayer/Monsanto will control data about farm practices (79.5 percent very concerned/12.2 percent somewhat concerned)
89.0 percent of farmers think the merger will result in increased pressure for chemically dependent farming (77.1 percent very concerned/11.9 percent somewhat concerned).
The poll also found a high level of concern amongst farmers surveyed that the merged company will control data about farm practices, will increase prices, diminish quality, choice and seed varieties including availability of regionally adaptive seed, which farmers identified as critical given increasing climate variability.
The new poll, fielded by a coalition of farm groups, comes as the U.S. Department of Justice is reviewing the merger between chemical giant Bayer (NYSE:BAYN) and agrochemical giant Monsanto (NYSE: MON). If the Bayer-Monsanto merger is approved, the new company would be the world’s largest vegetable seed company, world’s largest cottonseed company, world’s largest manufacturer and seller of herbicides, and the world’s largest owner of intellectual property/patents for herbicide tolerant traits.
Source: Rural America in These Times, March 15, 2018