The Platform

History Of Excellence

Roundup Ready PLUS® has the crop management solutions for today and tomorrow. Built on the Roundup® agricultural herbicides, the platform offers a range of recommendations along with potential cash-back incentives to help you control a variety of crop issues. A single mode of action is no longer adequate to protect your yields and profitability.

Witness the innovation

1960

In 1960, an Agricultural Division is formed within Monsanto. In the mid-1960s, Monsanto established Monsanto Agricultural Centers, or MACs. They were retail operations, something new to Monsanto, and provided all the fertilizer and pesticides a farmer might need, including testing and product application to fields in some cases. MACs were phased out in 1975.

1970

A young chemist named John Franz, who had recently been transferred to the Ag division, began work with another scientist, Dr. Phil Hamm, the head of Monsanto's herbicide screening program. Hamm was excited about two compounds that had been recently submitted by chemists from another part of Monsanto, compounds that initially were studied as water softeners. Hamm wondered if there might be some use for the compounds as herbicides and asked Franz to study them.

1970

Franz proceeded to study how these compounds metabolized within plants. He theorized that a beneficial compound might be produced during the plant's metabolic process, and if he was lucky, he might be able to synthesize one of these compounds. The third compound he synthesized would prove to be one that would change the face of farming. The molecule John Franz discovered was called glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's original Roundup® herbicide formulation.

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1972-1973

In the early 1970s when glyphosate was first discovered, Monsanto marketers were perplexed. They were accustomed to selling herbicides that were selective, which killed certain weeds but left crops unharmed. Glyphosate was non-selective, killing virtually all plants with which it came in contact. But because it was environmentally friendly, marketers continued to try to find ways it could be used commercially.

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1974

Original Roundup® brand herbicide commercialized in Malaysia and the UK and registered for industrial use in the U.S.

1976

The original Roundup® herbicide allowed farmers to kill almost every weed that emerged from the soil, thus decreasing the need for tilling to control weeds and suffering soil erosion in the process. This Roundup® product also seemed to be the perfect environmental solution at the perfect time. It was found to decompose into natural products — carbon dioxide, phosphoric acid, and ammonia — and was also found to be safe for humans and wildlife. Environmentally speaking, the original Roundup® herbicide proved to be one of, if not the safest, herbicides in history.

Late 1970s

In 1970 most farmers believed they had no choice but to use herbicides and tilling to control weeds. At the time, most herbicides were pre-emergent, meaning they created a chemical barrier on the surface of a field and killed weeds when they sprouted through this barrier and came in contact with the herbicide. To be effective, pre-emergent herbicides had to spread when they were applied to fields, ensuring a consistent, even barrier against sprouting weeds. They also needed to stay active for a long time so they would continue to be effective after the spring rainy season. These two common traits were environmentally problematic because active pre-emergent herbicides could wash into streams and ground water, potentially effecting wildlife and fish. The original Roundup® herbicide was different, becoming one of the most environmentally friendly herbicides in the history of agriculture.

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1979

Starting in the early 1980s, Monsanto began to invest heavily in a new science called biotechnology. The company built new labs, hired new scientists, performed year upon year of research and spent billions of dollars chasing a dream.

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1996

Roundup Ready® Soybeans are introduced, providing farmers with in-seed herbicide tolerance to Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides.

1998

Roundup Ready® Canola and Roundup Ready® Cotton are introduced, providing farmers with in-seed tolerance to Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides. Monsanto also purchases Asgrow® agronomics seed business.

2010

With the introduction of glyphosate-resistant weeds, the need arose to create recommendations to farmers on how to combat these tough-to-control weeds. Roundup Ready PLUS® is a resource to help farmers stay informed about weed management, develop proactive plans and make it more economical to continue doing what they've always done: Grow High Yielding Crops.

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2012

The Roundup Ready® Xtend Crop System is introduced in Ground Breakers® Field Trials. You can view real-life, in-season experiences with Follow A Field video updates.