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Get a handle on new seed traits

It’s been a couple of years since I reviewed the traits that are currently being sold in the market. At that time most of the available traits were only stacked with one other trait, making a “double-stack” product.

Normally, the single, double, or triple vocabulary refers to the inclusion of herbicide resistance and aboveground or belowground insect resistance.

We are now in the area where more triple stacks and stacks of up to eight genes are common in the market. Here is a simple overview of the major traits that are available now for corn and soybeans.

Roundup Ready/YieldGard Corn Borer (RR/YGCB). This trait is present in the double-stack hybrids. It has resistance to Roundup herbicide and European corn borer, or ECB.

Herculex traits (HX). This is the trait package from Dow Agrosciences and includes Herculex I (ECB protection), Herculex RW (corn rootworm protection), and Herculex XTRA (combination of HX I and HX RW). The Herculex traits also have resistance to Liberty herbicide, as well as coverage of other insects, including western bean cutworm, black cutworm and fall armyworm.

LibertyLink. LL corn hybrids are resistant to Bayer’s Liberty and Ignite herbicides. With their unique, non-selective chemistry, LL hybrids are a good alternative for weeds that are resistant or tolerant of glyphosate. LL soybean varieties have gained some attention in the market recently as well and are good choices for growers with an intensive glyphosate cropping rotation.

VT Double Pro. This double-stack trait product from Monsanto replaces the previous RR/YGCB. The major difference is the ECB trait has two modes of action, allowing for a reduced refuge requirement from 20% down to 5% and the addition of corn earworm control.

VT Triple Pro. This is really the VT2PRO along with belowground resistance to corn rootworm. The refuge remains at 20%.

SmartStax. This is the combination product of VT3PRO, Herculex XTRA, RR and LL. Multiple modes of action for both aboveground and belowground insects allows a reduced refuge requirement for SmartStax down to 5%, and most bags sold will have that refuge component mixed into the bag already.

Agrisure 3000GT. This is the trait package from Syngenta that has GT, LL and ECB resistance. Refuge requirements are 20% with this trait.

Agrisure Viptera 3111. This is a new trait for 2011 that adds a new mode of action for corn earworm, cutworm and fall armyworm. Future stacked products with Viptera 3220 have approval for a 5% reduced refuge.

Roundup Ready 2 Yield (RR2Y). Launched in 2008, RR2Y is the same plant Roundup resistance mechanism as Roundup Ready, but it is inserted in a different place in the soybean genome, allowing these plants to express more yield.

Spelhaug is an agronomist with Peterson Farms Seed, Harwood, N.D. For more information, contact him at 866-481-7333 or adam@peterson
, or visit


This article published in the November, 2011 edition of DAKOTA FARMER.

All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2011.