Soybean varieties that are tolerant to both glyphosate and dicamba herbicides are one step closer to being introduced to the North American market.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced its decision on January 15th to deregulate Monsanto’s Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybean trait, meaning the company’s glyphosate and dicamba-tolerant soybeans have now received regulatory consent in both Canada and the U.S.
“This announcement marks an important milestone for farmers around the world,” said Robb Fraley, Monsanto’s chief technology officer, in a company 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. We’re excited to provide additional tools that can help improve efficiencies on farm and support farmers in bringing more food to harvest for consumers.”
With the key American approval in place, a stakeholder update distributed by Monsanto Canada on Friday said Canadian farmers should anticipate a commercial launch of Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans in 2016. The technology was approved in Canada in 2012. Monsanto is still waiting for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s consent on commercializing the Xtend herbicide chemistry, but that’s expected to come this summer. The company is also working on approvals from the Chinese government.
Monsanto says the technology will enable in-crop control of glyphosate-resistant weeds, as well as increased flexibility with applying dicamba before, at and after planting. It will also provide up to 14 days residual activity for small-seeded broadleaf weeds (check out the video with Joe Vink, weed management technical lead for Monsanto Canada below.)
The new soybean varieties will be sold under the Dekalb brand, as well as through other seed companies who have partnered with Monsanto.
“The new Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans varieties available to growers at launch are anticipated to be well adapted for the Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic Canada, Manitoba and Saskatchewan soybean markets,” according to the update from Monsanto Canada.