Monsanto Company will operate 21 Centers of Excellence in 16 states this year to help growers understand new ways they can optimize their farm profitability through reduced-tillage systems (such as no-till and strip-till) and other new farming technologies.

Centers of Excellence are real-life demonstration farms — run by local growers and/or cooperators — focused on researching and refining reduced-tillage systems. The program allows growers to learn more about reduced-tillage practices, biotechnology, new equipment technologies and cultural practices, and how to apply these technologies to increase productivity, lower production costs, and benefit soil and water quality.

Field days at the Centers are open to growers and the general public, and admittance is free.

“Monsanto's Centers of Excellence program represents a tremendous opportunity for growers to learn more about what conservation-tillage means for their operation and, ultimately, their bottom-line,” said Dan Towery, Conservation Technology Information Center. “If growers are interested in reducing tillage and increasing profitability on their farm — they should spend an afternoon at one of these demonstration farms.”

Monsanto's Centers of Excellence provide growers with first-hand access to side-by-side tillage systems and equipment comparisons, seed evaluation technology, a rainfall simulator, a demonstration on the history of corn, and on-farm data highlighting management practices. This data is then collected and published to promote greater understanding and knowledge.

Monsanto's Centers of Excellence program was first established in 1997 with 12 farms scattered throughout the U.S. Today, the Centers serve as an educational springboard for growers and agronomists and welcome approximately 10,000 visitors annually.

For more information on the Centers of Excellence, contact your local Monsanto representative or visit: www.farmsource.com