Roundup Ready 2 Xtend™ Soybeans Get Closer to Commercialization

One week after Latham Product Manager Mark Grundmeier posted an update on new soybean traits and technologies, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the deregulatation of Roundup Ready 2 Xtend™ soybeans. Soybeans with this Dicamba-resistant trait from Monsanto will provide farmers with another option for managing tough broadleaf weeds.

“This announcement marks an important milestone for farmers around the world,” said Robb Fraley, Ph.D., Monsanto’s chief technology officer in a news release. “Weeds represent a key pest to agriculture operations around the world and limit crops of much-needed nutrients, sunlight and access to available water resources.”

Weeds are the most economically damaging pests that Iowa corn and soybean farmers face every year, according to Iowa State University Extension Weed Specialist Dr. Mike Owen. The best management practice for achieving weed control is still a diversity of tactics: cultural, mechanical and herbicide. Soybean growers should use products from as many herbicide groups, or families, as possible.

Using one family of herbicides is not a sustainable choice, so weed management specialists like Dr. Owen continue to recommend multiple sites of action herbicide programs as part of Best Management Practices. Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans can help preserve the effectiveness of glyphosate by providing one more important and much needed tool to fight weed resistance.

USDA approval is a major step forward in the process toward full-scale commercialization of this technology. Now with de-regulation, this spring we’re planning to plant production fields of 12 Latham® Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans. This will allow us to make Xtend soybeans available for 2016 planting should full global approval happen.

Chinese approval will be the last step before full-scale commercialization of Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans. With China’s recent approval of the Agrisure Viptera® corn trait, I’m hopeful this bodes well for future trait approvals.

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