MONSANTO is acknowledged as a global agribusiness giant, but its major focuses are in seeds and crop protection.
However, the company has now branched out into the price discovery sector, launching an app, called Grain Gauge, to provide farmers with a range of current cash price bids.
While Monsanto has no direct interest in grain pricing, the Grain Gauge app was borne out of a desire to promote canola containing Monsanto’s genetically modified Roundup Ready trait.
Eastern regional business manager for canola with Monsanto Don Benn said feedback from growers was that they would not grow the crop due to the discount to conventional canola.
“We tested this and we often found the spread was not as wide as what growers thought and we wanted to get this information out there,” he said.
The company was looking to give growers an accurate daily price bid for Roundup Ready canola, but quickly realised this brief was too narrow to attract grower interest in light of the various other price discovery products available and that it needed to offer prices for a range of commodities.
Monsanto enlisted the help of grain market information business Lachstock Consulting to power the app.
“We decided to include a range of commodities within the app including RR canola, wheat barley, oats, cotton and sorghum,” Mr Benn said.
“We want to create a product that farmers use and use often and Lachstock do a fantastic job at providing up to date pricing information for growers to access.”
Managing director of Lachstock Lachie Stevens said farmers were eager to have a one-stop shop for price discovery.
“It’s important to provide prices by site by commodity in a format growers can easily access,” he said.
“It may seem a lot of information when the aim is to provide details around GM canola, but we’ve seen these services need to provide a suite of data to attract users.”
The app is available for both Apple and Android devices.
It provides pricing for sites right across the country.