I have grown nervous watching the consolidation and mergers happening in agribusiness. The latest proposal between Bayer and Monsanto has me particularly concerned.
In farming there is a thin line between success and failure. I fear the proposed Bayer-Monsanto merger eliminates competition and will ultimately drive costs up, making it even more challenging for farmers to make a living. The weather is already unpredictable and a risk for farmers. An uncontrolled increase in fixed costs such as seed and fertilizer will have a serious negative impact on Iowa agriculture.
This proposed merger would consolidate the power of research and new genetics. According to one study by the GM Crop Database, the Bayer-Monsanto merger would mean almost 90 percent of soybean traits and 77 percent of corn seed would be controlled by these two huge companies. This type of consolidation is not good for farmers or consumers. Everyone will see the impact in higher food prices.
When competition is reduced or eliminated, as would be the case with this merger, prices can skyrocket and jobs can be lost, with the only real winners being Bayer and Monsanto. The Iowa State Grange has a long history of fighting for an even financial footing for farmers. I hope the regulators cast a watchful, skeptical eye on this proposed merger. We can’t allow this shift in power to go unchecked.
Iowa State Grange President