ABC

Monsanto Co. said Wednesday it will eliminate 2,600 jobs as part of a cost-saving plan designed to deal with falling sales of its biotech seeds and herbicides, which pushed its quarterly losses deeper into the red.

The job cuts will reduce the company’s 22,500-employee workforce of by about 12 percent over the next two years.

The St. Louis-based agricultural giant predicts the move will generate between $275 million and $300 million in annual savings by the end of fiscal 2017. The cost of the reorganization — which will streamline sales, R&D and other departments — is estimated at $850 million to $900 million.

Monsanto’s last round of layoffs came in June 2009, when the company slashed 900 jobs.

CEO Hugh Grant pointed to the negative impact of foreign exchange rates as well as falling crop prices that have squeezed farmers.

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