On December 17th I was invited on AgriTalk with Mike Adams to discuss the impact of biotechnology on farmers' choices in seed options. Agricultural markets in the seed industry (as imperfect as they may be when we compare them to unrealistic and idealistic standards) function as they should by solving the knowledge problem related to seed choices and technology. This will only be enhanced with the convergence of big data, genomics, and biotechnology. That is truly the social function of markets and prices. Even if a single corporation controlled all of the IP related to existing biotech traits, the disruptions of new technology, big data and genomics (applications like FieldScripts, ACRES, MyJohnDeere or the new concept Kinze planters that switch hybrids on the go etc.) will require the market to continue to offer a range of choices in seeds and genetics to tailor to each producer's circumstances of time and place. There are numerous margins that growers look at when optimizing their seed choices and it will require a number of firms and seed choices to meet these needs as the industry's focus moves from the farm and field level to the data gathered by the row foot with each pass over the field. The concerns related to monoculture and monopoly in the seed industry are largely overrated when these factors and trade offs are considered.
The audio is available in the archives (Dec 17) below via Farm Journal Media or iTunes (@33:00) (play in browser): https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/agritalk-december-17-2013/id619537283?i=215613895&mt=2
See also: What does the Farmer Say About Seed Choices- Channeling Hayek.
Big Ag Meets Big Data: Part 1 & Part 2