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EPA gives approval for TwinLink technology

Bayer CropScience has the OK from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its TwinLink technology in the United States and anticipates having it in FiberMax and Stoneville cotton varieties in 2013, pending regulatory approvals in key import countries.

EPA has cleared the insect-resistant and herbicide-tolerant traits in the United States, says Paul Callaghan, Bayer CropScience global cotton traits manager.

Key Points

Bayer CropScience gets OK for TwinLink cotton technology.

This is first cotton with stacked TwinLink and GlyTol traits.

The dual-gene insect/herbicide-tolerant cotton arrives soon.

TwinLink has the Cry1 AC and Cry2 AE genes for insect resistance, as well as tolerance to any glyphosate herbicide with its GlyTol trait and Liberty herbicide (formerly Ignite). When commercialized, TwinLink will be offered in a stack with GlyTol, Bayer CropScience’s proprietary glyphosate tolerance technology, making it the first herbicide-tolerant and dual-gene insect technology for cotton.

TwinLink technology combines insect resistance for effective management of a number of lepidopteran (caterpillars) and tolerance to glufosinate-ammonium herbicides (Liberty).

Stack is a first

“This stack will be the first dual-gene insect and herbicide tolerance in cotton,” Callaghan says. “It will allow farmers to manage pests and weeds that reduce yields and fiber quality, as well as prevent the onset of weed and pest resistance.”

“TwinLink technology will be an important solution for cotton farmers looking to improve their crop management choice and increase their productivity in a sustainable way,” says Mathias Kremer, head of the BioScience business unit of Bayer CropScience.

“It is also a critical tool for effective weed and insect resistance management — a serious challenge facing growers in the United States and increasingly in other important production areas around the world.”

Bayer will test the technology in elite FiberMax and Stoneville germplasm in 2012. “We’re hoping to have several FiberMax and Stoneville varieties to release in 2013,” Callaghan says.

While anticipating it will have TwinLink available in cotton varieties by then, Callaghan notes Bayer “is looking for complete approval from key import countries before we put it out.”

Widespread acceptance

So far, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and the United States have granted approval to the technology. The company is waiting on approval from Mexico, Japan and Korea.

Lee Rivenbark, vice president of global cotton and U.S. seed operations for Bayer, says Bayer looks to the end user.

“Bayer is a global company that thinks locally,” Rivenbark says. “The farmer must succeed for Bayer to succeed.”

He says that means Bayer intends to go to the heart of farm country. Jeff Brehmer, U.S. marketing manager, FiberMax and Stoneville cotton, Lubbock, Texas, says the challenge always is to provide germplasm “equal or better than what we already had on the market.”Then farmers can see what the new cottons can do.

Callaghan points out: “This is not the end-all from a trait standpoint.” In fact, Bayer already is working on a next-generation insect trait that is a three-trait stack.

This article published in the April, 2012 edition of THE FARMER-STOCKMAN.

All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2012.