Westbred Helps Fight Sawfly Damage


Montana Grains Foundation (MGF) president and Carter, MT farmer, Dale Schuler, and Ryan Holt, Commercial Manager for WestBred, a unit of Monsanto, announced jointly today the donation by WestBred of $25,000 to the new sawfly research initiative created by MGF.

WestBred, a Montana based company whose assets were acquired by Monsanto in 2009, is a major supplier of seed technology to the agricultural community.  MGF is a non-profit foundation established by grain producers to promote charitable, scientific, and educational activities on behalf of Montana’s grain industry.

“WestBred recognizes the Wheat Stem Sawfly is a devastating insect that is having a real negative impact on productivity and profitability,” says Holt.  “While the industry has made some strides in the successful management of this pest, a tremendous amount of research and education is still needed.  WestBred is hopeful that we can continue to be a part of the equation in solving this issue, as well as many other production problems impacting wheat production in North America,” Holt adds.

Jeff Kosceleny, US Wheat Commercial Lead for WestBred says, “The company is proud to provide funding to this extremely important new initiative being taken on by the Montana Grains Foundation.  We are confident that this funding, combined with the start-up funds from the Sawfly Research Foundation will enable a thorough literary review of the sawfly research completed to date and provide a clear path forward to minimize the impact of this pest.”

Schuler thanked Holt and WestBred and explained the scope of the Foundation’s project.  “We at Montana Grains Foundation are starting with the basics,” said Schuler, “with a review of what has been done and is being done to control sawfly.  We will then construct a capital campaign to involve all parties in the grain industry to fund intensive research of solutions.”

Schuler noted that although MGF has not completed plans for raising capital, WestBred’s enthusiasm for the initiative could not be denied.  “This gives us a jump-start on our project, and is deeply appreciated,” added Schuler.

Source: Montana Grain Growers Association 

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