With Monsanto rolling out its dicamba-tolerant Roundup Ready Xtend soybeans, DuPont has reached a dicamba supply deal with Monsanto for Canada and the U.S.
“For several years, DuPont has been testing a solutions-based approach to optimizing weed control using this novel soybean trait and dicamba formulation technology,” said Tim Glenn, president, DuPont Crop Protection, in a statement Thursday. “We are seeing excellent results in improved control of weed populations, including those resistant to a number of herbicide modes of action. This advance will help farmers manage weed competition while improving crop safety as they work to increase production to meet global food demand.”
Terms of the multi-year deal were not disclosed. DuPont’s new dicamba herbicide is known as FeXapan, and will feature Monsanto’s VaporGrip Technology, developed to reduce potential volatilization and spray drift.
“This agreement represents continued commitment to the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System,” said Mike Frank, Monsanto vice president, chief commercial officer. “Low-volatility dicamba formulations with VaporGrip Technology are designed to give soybean farmers additional tools to control glyphosate-resistant and tough-to-control broadleaf weeds.”
Monsanto planned to start selling Xtend soybean seed in Canada this past spring, but the launch was postponed by a delay in European import approval. Xtend seed was sold in the U.S., but some grain companies are saying they won’t accept Xtend beans until exports to the EU are cleared.
To support the Xtend crop system, Monsanto is investing $975 million in expanding a production facility in Luling, Louisiana. The plant is expected to supply 25 to 35 percent of the market for the dicamba product when it’s completed in 2019.
DuPont, meanwhile, is in the process of merging with another major player in the crop protection business — Dow Chemical Co. Shareholders for both companies will be voting on the merger on July 20.