A group representing farmers in Nebraska and across the country is raising red flags about the Bayer-Monsanto merger.
Zack Clark, the government relations representative for the National Farmers Union, says the deal would hurt farmers.
“We always feel that a lack of competition is never a good situation for farmers to be dealing with,” Clark says. “And also on the price side (of the merger), less choice, fewer products and fewer companies selling those products really risk increasing prices.”
Bayer, based in Germany, announced Wednesday it will acquire seed and pesticide firm Monsanto of St. Louis for $66-billion.
Clark says mergers like these can also result in the loss of off-farm jobs that many families rely on for additional income. The farmers union plans to oppose the Bayer-Monsanto deal in a similar way to other recent agri-business mergers.
“We submitted testimony in a letter against the Dow-DuPont merger and we submitted information to the Senate on the Syngenta-ChemChina merger,” Clark says.
The union is also considering getting involved in the Department of Justice lawsuit against John Deere and Precision Planting in the wake of that merger.
Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant says the deal will benefit both companies’ shareholders, growers and consumers and will allow for greater agricultural research and development.
“We’re now entering a new era in agriculture, one in which growers are calling for new solutions and technologies to meet the challenges of the future,” Grant says. “Bayer shares in our vision of sustainable agriculture and improving the lives of growers and people around the world.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing next week to discuss the impact of the recent mergers on the ag industry. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley chairs the panel.
By Mark Dorenkamp, Brownfield Ag News