Bayer AG sweetened its takeover bid for Monsanto Co. (NYSE: MON) to $56 billion, raising its offer for a second time in its pursuit to become the world’s largest producer of seeds and pesticides. Monsanto responded to say that it’s evaluating the Bayer offer as well as proposals from other parties and strategic alternatives.

Technology advances and customer demand are driving mid-market agriculture deals.  Agco Corp. (NYSE:AGCO) is acquiring Cimbria Holdings Ltd.; Advent said it will purchase Viakem; and Lariat Partners invested in Willowood USA.

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