Ahead of the Curve

March 23, 2013 07:28 AM

New soybean products boost yields, fight weeds

Rowen Ziegler says he hasn’t found weed resistance on his LaHarpe, Ill., farm, but it lurks nearby.
"It’s been documented in a county south of me, and that’s too close for comfort," he says.

pC16 Ahead of the Curve

To hold back resistant weeds, Illinois farmer Rowen Ziegler rotates crops and traits and uses multiple herbicide modes of action

He rotates crops, uses multiple herbicide modes of action and rotates between the Roundup Ready and LibertyLink soybean systems to keep herbicide-resistant waterhemp, marestail and giant ragweed off his farm.

"People need to be aware of what kind of resistance is in their neighborhood and take strategies to keep it out of their fields," says Ziegler, production committee chairman for the Illinois Soybean Association.

Manufacturers are bringing new soybean trait systems to the market to help farmers combat weeds and boost yields. The Balance GT soybean performance system (formerly Event FG72) features a double herbicide-tolerant trait stack with tolerance to glyphosate and isoxaflutole. The latter is an HPPD inhibitor herbicide currently used only in the corn market and sold under the trade name Balance Flexx. The isoxaflutole-based herbicide used with the new system will be called Balance Bean.

The Balance GT system will be available in the U.S. and Canada as early as 2015, notes Lauren August, MS Technologies brand manager. The company is developing the system in collaboration with Bayer CropScience, which will manufacture Balance Bean.

August says 56 varieties, with a maturity range of 0 to 4, are planned for the initial launch. "We expect to have an additional 225 new varieties coming shortly thereafter," she says.

Stine Seed Company is the initial licensee for the system.

Three-way tolerance. Syngenta and Bayer CropScience are collaborating on new MGI-herbicide-tolerant soybean varieties (Event SYHT0H2). MGI is an acronym for three herbicide active ingredients: mesotrione (Callisto), glufosinate (Liberty) and isoxaflutole (Balance Flexx).

The MGI herbicide-tolerant trait system will be available in NK brand soybean varieties offered by Syngenta, in Bayer branded varieties and out-licensed to other seed brands, once the necessary regulatory approvals have been obtained, says Tim Zurliene, Bayer CropScience global trait marketing and licensing manager.

The initial launch of products is expected between 2015 and 2020. Each company is developing soybean herbicide products and programs that will be used with the new varieties.

Extended platform. Next year, Monsanto Company expects to introduce the Roundup Ready 2 Xtend Crop System with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans. This latest advancement to the Roundup Ready system contains glyphosate and dicamba tolerance. This summer farmers will be able to see the system at work in 19 locations across the U.S., according to Rob Fraley, Monsanto executive vice president and chief technology officer.

Defensive traits. Manufacturers are also offering increased defensive trait protection and improved pest resistance in new soybean varieties. Don Schafer, DuPont Pioneer soybean marketing manager, says the new T Series offers these benefits, in 39 varieties spread through seven maturity groups. The series will be introduced this spring on a limited basis.

The new soybeans are based on the company’s Accelerated Yield Technology (AYT) process. It
employs novel trait integration through a proprietary matrix of gene mapping and molecular breeding technologies.

You can e-mail Rhonda Brooks at rbrooks@farmjournal.com.

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