National poll results released this week confirm that farmers across the country believe the merger of Bayer and Monsanto will be bad for farming and farm communities. As the Department of Justice considers its final decision regarding the merger, the poll demonstrates serious concern from farmers and some details about why many believe more consolidation will be harmful.
The weed crisis and accompanying dicamba drift epidemic of last year's growing season were identified by many farmers as a major concern, and a problem that Monsanto cannot solve and a merger could further amplify.
Farmers say NO to merger
Nearly 1,000 farmers in 48 states, representing all sectors of farming, were asked about the pending merger, and more than 93% expressed concern, with top worries being increased pressure to practice chemical-dependent farming and reduced choice for purchasing seeds and other inputs.
Roger Johnson, President of the National Farmers Union, has this perspective on the pending merger:
Family farmers deserve fair prices, choices in what they plant, and the type of market competition that incentivizes firms to compete and innovate. A Bayer-Monsanto merger stands to move each of these factors in the wrong direction.”
Monsanto & dicamba drift
Last season’s dicamba drift crisis, with more than 3.5 million soy acres damaged by Monsanto’s latest seed/herbicide combo, no doubt elevates these concerns for farmers across the country.
Grain farmers are in a tough spot, thanks to so many years of the corporation's RoundUp Ready crops spawning the current epidemic of herbicide-resistent weeds. Monsanto's "solution" to this problem, of course, was Xtend — the dicamba cropping system that is causing so much collateral damage.
Prominent weed scientists predict that already-existing dicamba-resistant weeds will spread quickly, and that Xtend will not solve the weed problem RoundUp has created. It will, however, produce massive short-term profits for Monsanto through herbicide sales.
Widespread impacts & concerns
The survey results also reveal that:
- More than 70% of farmers report heavier herbicide use due to resistant weeds;
- Over 90% of organic farmers are concerned that pesticide drift will impact their ability to continue organic farming;
- Over 11% of field-crop farmers had a recent dicamba drift incident; and
- Over 10% of conventional farmers are considering buying Xtend seeds only to prevent dicamba drift damage to their own crops.
You can stand with farmers against the Bayer-Monsanto merger. Contact DoJ officials today, and tell them that the merger is bad for food and farming, and must be stopped.