Texas farmers are concerned that if plans for two of the world’s largest agricultural firms to merge go through, it will diminish competition and cause prices for seeds and other essential products to increase.
As The Texas Tribune reports, German conglomerate Bayer, a global distributor of seeds best known for its pharmaceuticals like aspirin, hopes to buy Missouri-based agricultural firm Monsanto, which sells agricultural chemicals.
A recent merger between Dow and DuPont and another between ChinaChem and Syngenta dropped the number of firms distributing seeds and other agricultural products from six to four. The Bayer-Monsanto merger would leave only three large companies in that sector.
A study by Texas A&M University released in September of last year said the mergers would lead to less competition and, therefore, higher crop prices. The study predicted a 20 percent increase in the price of cottonseed, a significant increase for farmers in a state dominant in U.S. cotton production.
The Bayer-Monsanto merger must first gain approval from European antitrust regulators.