Monsanto opens Plant Health Pathology-Lab at Petit

Magda du Toit 4/11/2018

Monsanto South Africa celebrated an important milestone recently with the opening of its state of the art Plant Health Pathology laboratory at its maize breeding and research facility at Petit, reinforcing the company’s commitment to bring better products to farmers. 

“Monsanto has always strived to provide the best possible products to farmers to improve on-farm productivity and this is a major step forward to achieving our sustainability goals in Africa” said Kobus Steenekamp, Commercial Lead for Monsanto in South Africa. “As a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that aim to improve farm productivity and food quality, Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world's natural resources such as water and energy.”

At this facility we will provide plant disease diagnosis, consultancy and testing services not only to our research team, but also to our TD, Seed production and commercial teams.  This new laboratory supported by field testing, will enable us to analyse and interpret a vast range of diseases providing our clients with relevant and practical solutions for maize plant health issues. They pathology team will focus on the monitoring and assessments of major diseases on the continent, developing pertinent reaction plans, and pro-active breeding initiatives.

The services at the laboratory will include:

  • The identification and diagnosis of plant diseases on maize
  • Disease control advice
  • Disease assessment for fungicide trials evaluating chemical and biocontrol products
  • Seed testing for plant pathogens
  • Site visits and consultancy
  • Planning and conducting maize crop disease surveys
  • Research projects on maize plant diseases
  • Advise to the seed and production research as well as our seed production teams
  • Advise to the sales and marketing teams regarding product placement

“It is really exciting to be part of the team and to open our new Plant Health Pathology Laboratory. For many years the team has worked really hard to improve the quality of our hybrids and with this new facility, our products will continue to deliver success to our customers into the future,” says Loren Trimble Monsanto SA Research and Development Lead.

The facility took 8 months to complete and what is remarkable is that during that entire time, not one incident pertaining to safety was reported. 

“The opening of the new Plant Health lab is a huge milestone for Africa maize breeding. This world class new facility should enable us to further improve our DEKALB product portfolio and deliver more value to our farmer customers,” Cheusi Mutawila, Asia Africa Plant Health Pathology Lead.