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NC+ Hybrids Joins American Seeds, Inc. Team

ASI, a Monsanto holding company, will offer growers leading germplasm and biotechnology traits.

Published on: Mar 1, 2005

American Seeds, Inc. (ASI), a Monsanto holding company, and its operating subsidiary Channel Bio Corp. (Channel) announced that NC+ Hybrids, Inc. has agreed to join to the ASI team of brands, providing a further opportunity to bring growers new technology in the brands they prefer.

NC+ Hybrids, Inc. (NC+ Hybrids), based in Lincoln, Neb., joins the companies of Channel Bio Corp. Like Channel's other brands, NC+ Hybrids will be a distinct operating subsidiary of Channel and run as an independent brand. Through Channel, President Don Funk and Chief Executive Officer Aline Funk currently manage three other successful and growing independent brands: Crow's Hybrid Corn Company, Midwest Seed Genetics, Inc. and Wilson Seeds as a part of Monsanto's ASI subsidiary formed in November 2004.

With the addition of NC+ Hybrids to the Channel family, the combined brands will offer growers leading germplasm and biotechnology traits, becoming one of the largest seed companies in the Central, Western and Southwestern growing areas. The brands will continue to have a strong presence in Nebraska, a state that ranks among the national leaders in not only corn production, but in adoption of new corn technology.

Ron Vieselmeyer, NC+ Hybrids Cooperative's chairman of the board of directors, says the agreement allows the NC+ Hybrids brand to continue to exceed the needs of its customers, "The seed business has changed dramatically in the last few years, influenced by many factors including fewer but larger operators, traits and technology, and consolidation. We wanted to make sure that the NC+ Hybrids brand would continue as a mark of quality seed and quality people for many, many years to come."

ASI provides a vehicle for Monsanto to make equity investments in regional seed business, which — like Channel and NC+ Hybrids — are incorporated and run as autonomous subsidiaries, according to Dennis Plummer, president of ASI.

"The ASI model is one that we believe can help connect regional seed companies to innovation in Monsanto's pipeline to accelerate their growth and provide more options for growers," says Plummer. "The addition of NC+ Hybrids to Channel is a great opportunity to serve more farmers and is the logical continuation of our strategy to add regional seed companies that can build this new model and accelerate growth in targeted areas."

Channel Bio Corp. researches, develops and sells corn and soybean seed in North America. Channel is one of the ten largest companies in the industry and one of the industry's fastest growing. Channel is the cornerstone business of American Seeds Inc., a new holding company Monsanto established in November 2004 to support regional seed companies with capital investments.