Following regulatory delays over several years, Monsanto Canada representatives say they’re confident the company will finally be able to introduce its soybeans with tolerance to both glyphosate and dicamba herbicides to the North American market for 2016.
All the required biotech and herbicide approvals for the Roundup Ready 2 Xtend system are in place in Canada, with the Pest Management Regulatory Agency giving the green light to the Xtendimax dicamba herbicide earlier this month, explains Mark Lawton, technology development lead with Monsanto Canada, in the video below.
They are, however, still waiting on approval from one major export market — China.
“A big part of our regulatory approach is to ensure the grain will move freely into the key markets where soybeans go,” he says. “China is one of the key countries that we’re still working through. We’re making good progress and optimistic we’ll have that across the finish line in time to introduce the Roundup Ready Xtend crop system for 2016.”
The delayed launch means breeders have had time to develop and diversify the seed supply, including some shorter season varieties that might be suited for Western Canada, notes Lawton.
“The initial plan was to be in the market a little bit sooner. We were planning on our breeding side to have materials ready a couple of years ago, so we have a pretty large class over two or three years,” he explains. “It will be our largest launch, with a number of varieties in a number of different brands for farmer choice and in a wide range of maturities.”
As with other Roundup Ready genetics, he says Monsanto intends to license RR2 Xtend varieties to other soybean seed companies.
In anticipation of increased demand for dicamba herbicide, the company has also announced preliminary plans to invest up to $1 billion over the next five years in dicamba production at its plant in Luling, Louisiana.