Balance™ GT Soybeans: One Step Closer to Commercialization
February and March are key months for Latham’s product team as we focus on choosing next year’s product lineup. What we grow in 2017 becomes the seed we offer for 2018, so you might say our 2018 guide “hangs in the balance.”
Last month, Balance™ GT soybeans received import approval from China. Balance™ GT has already received approval from these critical countries: Argentina, Brazil, Canada and the European Union. However, Balance® Bean herbicide is pending registration.
Bayer has announced it won’t release the technology until the chemical is fully approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Balance GT soybeans may be sprayed with glyphosate and with Balance Bean herbicide, which contains the same active ingredient as Balance herbicide for corn. Although the first generation of Balance GT products won’t have resistance to Liberty herbicide, Bayer plans to add Liberty resistance in the near future.
Balance™ GT and Monsanto’s Xtend™ soybeans have both been approved in the past year, and we’re hopeful that Dow’s Enlist™ soybeans will be approved in 2017. We’re eager for this approval for two reasons:
- Farmers need new tools to win the fight against weed resistance.
- Increased competition helps keep seed prices down. With the Bayer/Monsanto merger pending; all of these technologies would be controlled by one company: RR1, RR2, RR2 Xtend, Liberty and Balance GT. There’s a good chance one of more of these technologies will be sold for the Justice Department to approve the merger. I believe it’s in farmers’ best interest for these technologies to be owned by competing companies.
One benefit of our family-owned seed business is that we can access the industry’s latest and greatest technologies, regardless of which trait providers own them! That means Latham dealers can sell seed that best fits a customer’s situation.
As well, stay tuned for updates on new approvals. You can be sure we will offer new products as soon as they become commercially available!