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Tom Eickoff

Agronomic Systems Lead, Monsanto Company

Expert Bio

I was born and raised on a family farm in Nebraska, and received my Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Nebraska. Since joining Monsanto in 2007, I have held a variety of roles in our company’s Technology Development organization, focused on developing and delivering new technology in agriculture.

Studies, Articles and Answers

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Q: what are the genes in genetically modified corn

Answered By Tom Eickoff - Mar 27, 2015

A: This is a good question and first, I would like to state that not all of the corn seed developed by Monsanto contains an inserted gene as some farmers prefer to plant conventional corn hybrids, and we continue to develop those seeds and make them available.  The ability to add specific beneficial genes to corn has enabled the use of additional tools to protect yield.  The type of genes that are added to genetically modified corn generally fall under three categories: herbicide tolerance, insect protection and drought stress protection.      Farmers have th [...]

Environment How GMOs Are Made Crop protectants


Q: If pests are not interested in eating GMO then why should we be interested in eating and think that it is safe merely because those who stand to profit from it say so?

Answered By Tom Eickoff - Oct 15, 2015

A: The use of the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) organism and its insecticidal proteins to control insect pests has been a very effective tool in protecting the yield potential of various crops, in both organic and GMO cropping systems. The way in which GMO crops containing Bt genes protect themselves is not by causing the insects to avoid feeding on them, but in fact pest readily eat  Bt corn. The Bt protein is only effective in controlling the insect if the insect feeds on and ingests plant material that contains the insecticidal protein.   Bt is a very common bacterium that is found [...]

GMO Basics GMOs & Farmers GMOs Globally


Q: How Companies (Like Monsanto) Fill The Research Gaps

By Tom Eickoff - Jul 21, 2016

A: This post was originally published on Forbes on October 29, 2015. Post written by Tom Eickhoff, Ph.D. Tom Eickhoff is Agronomic Systems Lead at Monsanto Company. He focuses on developing and delivering new technology in agriculture.   An example of a public-private partnership in action. When Tom Eickhoff worked as a research technician at the University of Nebraska, he investigated the chemical responses of buffalograss to chinch bug. Knowledge gained from this research benefited golf course superintendents, sod producers, and other turfgrass managers by furnishing turfgrasses with [...]

Business Practices Editorial