Monsanto says it has received import approval from China for its Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans, meaning growers in Canada and the U.S. will have access to Xtend varieties for the 2016 growing season.
“We are pleased to bring Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans to the market,” said Brett Begemann, Monsanto’s President and Chief Operating Officer, in a statement Wednesday morning. “After a decade of development, the new and elite germplasm in Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans can provide growers with outstanding performance in their efforts to produce the best crop possible.”
The company had planned to release the glyphosate and dicamba tolerant soybeans earlier, but approval from China delayed the introduction.
The postponed launch has allowed breeders more time to develop the seed supply, with Xtend genetics licensed to more than 100 seed brands. More than 30 varieties suitable for Canadian growing regions are expected to be available for this spring.
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 most recently approving Monsanto’s Xtendimax dicamba herbicide in June 2015. It’s a different story in the US, as the Environmental Protection Agency has not yet approved the use of dicamba herbicide on Xtend soybeans.
Monsanto is also introducing its XtendiMax herbicide in Canada, a low-volatility dicamba formulation, together with the release of the Xtend trait.
“Managing glyphosate-resistant weeds in soybeans is a growing challenge for many Canadian farmers, particularly in Eastern Canada and they have been looking forward to this important new tool,” said Dan Wright, trait launch lead with Monsanto Canada. “The ability to use dicamba, in addition to glyphosate, provides multiple modes of action on every acre and is important to promote long-term sustainability on the farm.”