With dry weather conditions persisting throughout the Southwest, Monsanto is announcing a 2006 Drought Relief program to help cotton producers reduce their weather-related risk.

The program covers qualifying cotton growers in Monsanto’s Seed Drop Rate Zone E, that includes West Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico, who lose their crop or experience yields of less than 150 pounds of lint per acre due to severe drought. Benefits include:

• Roundup Rewards Trait Drought Relief Program – Qualifying growers are eligible to receive 100 percent cotton technology refunds when a crop loss is experienced due to severe drought conditions on acres planted with cotton varieties containing Monsanto cotton traits. Traits which qualify under the program include Bollgard, Bollgard II, Roundup Ready cotton and Roundup Ready Flex cotton.

Trait Drought Relief Program benefits are included as part of the Roundup Rewards program.

• Stoneville and NexGen Seed Drought Relief Program – Qualifying growers planting Stoneville and/or NexGen varieties are eligible to receive a 100 percent refund of the suggested retail price of the seed when a crop loss is experienced due to severe drought.

"Monsanto recognizes that cotton producers in the Plains are facing some very difficult cotton production input decisions due to current drought conditions," said Kyle Maple, U.S. cotton marketing manager for Monsanto. "As a result, we are offering this special 2006 Drought Relief Program to support producers' decision to plant high quality, seed company-produced cottonseed containing advanced technologies that can help them achieve the best yields possible."

Maple said the program will help cotton producers reduce financial risks from crop loss due to drought when choosing qualifying Monsanto products.

Growers should see their local seed dealer for additional information and offer conditions.