Company executives told analysts last week that between now and 2012 Monsanto expects to introduce six "blockbuster projects" with an estimated sales potential of up to $500m, as well as one "mega-blockbuster project" that could bring in over $1bn. "While we've historically talked a lot about the products we're delivering, we're now focused on the platforms that our business is poised to deliver between now and the end of 2012. We believe these platforms, like SmartStax in corn and Roundup RReady2Yield in soybeans, have the potential to effectively change the competitive dynamics within the agriculture industry," said Monsanto chairman, president and CEO Hugh Grant. Attendees at the firm's biennial US Investor Day meeting heard that as well as doubling the gross profit potential of its business by 2012, Monsanto also expects to generate free cash flow of up to $2.2bn in the period, which will be used for additional acquisitions and technology investments. The company said it expects its seeds and traits business to be shaped by six key factors over the next five years. These are: its US and international corn seeds and traits business; its soybean business; its cotton business; its Seminis fruit and vegetable seed business; and its R&D pipeline. According to the firm, it continues to show good potential in its corn operations, on the back of the strong performance of its Dekalb brand and the introduction of its SmartStax product. Monsanto also said its soybean business is on track for the release of its Roundup RReady2Yield technology on 1-2m acres in 2009, followed by its full-scale roll-out of 5-6m acres in 2010. The firm also said that the introduction of Roundup RReady2Yield soybeans will serve as the platform for up to five new stacked trait products in soybeans by 2012. In terms of its R&D pipeline, the firm said that by 2020, this will create an additional $5bn in gross sales. "Backed by the growing demand for our seed and trait products, our business is poised for significant organic growth between now and the end of 2012," said Grant.