Update On New Soybean Traits & Technologies

1274848_10151896062987138_626713682_oU.S. seed companies and farmers were handed an early Christmas present when China approved imports of hybrids with the Agrisure Viptera® corn trait, and many in the ag industry had hoped this one approval signaled a more consistent Chinese regulatory process. As a result, I’ve fielded a fair number of phone calls and e-mails from farmers wondering when they can expect final approval of various new soybean traits and technologies.

Here’s a quick update on those that are reasonably close to hitting the marketplace:

  • ENLIST™ (2,4-D resistant trait from Dow AgroSciences):
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in January 2014 announced completion of the Draft Environmental Impact Study for the Enlist™ corn, Enlist soybean and Enlist E3™ soybean traits. Following a comment period, the USDA announced on September 17, 2014, the Enlist corn and soybean traits have been deregulated.
    On October 15, 2014, the EPA announced Enlist Duo™ herbicide is approved for use with Enlist corn and soybean traits for the 2015 cropping season. This was the final step in the U.S. regulatory process, but one fairly large hurdle remaining is overall foreign approval.
  • ROUNDUP READY 2 XTEND™ (Dicamba-resistant trait from Monsanto):  Like the Enlist soybeans, this trait went through a comment period that ended September 25, 2014, and U.S. approval is expected any day. Roundup Xtend™ is a premix of dicamba and glyphosate. Xtendimax™ will be a straight dicamba formulation that will be used for tank mixing with other herbicide products.  Both of these new herbicides will be available with VaporGrip™ technology, designed to help significantly reduce the volatility of the dicamba active ingredient.
  • BALANCE GT™ (Balance-resistant trait from Bayer CropScience):  The Balance GT soybean trait has full U.S. approval, however, full global approval is still pending. It’s possible that Balance GT soybeans will be available for testing and plots in 2015, but a full commercial launch isn’t expected before 2016. As far as the herbicide system is concerned, Bayer has applied for registration of Balance® Bean herbicide and EPA approval is expected in early 2016.

There is uncertainty as to when these new traits will receive approval from foreign countries like China and the European Union. At Latham Hi-Tech Seeds, we will continue to do our own testing to see which technologies and genetics will be the best fit for our market area. We’ll also keep you updated on the approvals of these exciting new technologies. And, yes, we expect to have them in our lineup as soon as they’re commercially available!