New soybean weed management systems played a starring role at the recent American Seed Trade Association, or ASTA, convention in Chicago. Several companies used the occasion to announce new soybean technologies that will be available in the next several years.
"We're on the verge of a new era in soybeans," says Myron Stine, vice president of sales for Stine Seed Company, headquartered at Adel, Iowa. "It's been 15 years since Roundup Ready Soybeans forever changed the way we look at soybean weed control, but these days we know growers need new tools and options. These systems will open up a lot of choice to growers."
Stine is one of the first companies to commit to licensing two of the products unveiled at ASTA: Enlist E3 soybeans and a yet-to-be named system referred to by its working name, FG72. "Adding Enlist E3 and FG72 to Stine's offerings means we can provide customers with new methods to fight weeds while preserving yield. That's important since no two fields are alike. Growers want the flexibility to choose varieties based on their field's particular geography, soil type and weed pressures," says Myron Stine. In addition, through its longstanding research collaboration with Monsanto, Stine is currently developing new Roundup Ready Xtend soybeans which will be marketed under the Stine brand.
New soybean traits are being introduced which give growers new options for weed management systems
Enlist E3 soybeans, another offering in the Enlist Weed Control System portfolio, were developed in collaboration between MS Technologies and Dow AgroSciences. MS Technologies is an Iowa-based company that provides soybean traits and technology through their elite, high-yielding germplasm and in-house traits.
Enlist E3 represents the first time three herbicide tolerance genes will be stacked together as part of a single genetic event in the soybean genome. Those three tolerances include a new 2,4-D choline, glyphosate and glufosinate. Enlist Duo herbicide with Colex-D technology was created for use over the top of Enlist crops. According to Dow, Duo herbicide has minimized potential for drift and near-zero volatility.
FG72 soybeans are a result of collaboration between MS Technologies and Bayer CropScience. This new soybean system pairs high-yielding elite genetics with a double herbicide tolerant trait stack providing tolerance to glyphosate and isoxaflutole, the active ingredient in Bayer's new Balance Bean herbicide. Both glyphosate and isoxaflutole are non-volatile chemistries that will not affect adjacent crops.
Growers are looking for ways to better cope with weed resistance to herbicides
Pending regulatory approvals, both Enlist E3 and FG72 soybeans are expected to be available for planting in the 2015 crop year.
Yet another new soybean technology on the way is the Roundup Ready Xtend crop system which, when approved, will be the industry's first soybean with tolerance to glyphosate and a reformulated low-volatility dicamba. Developed by Monsanto, the product is expected to be released in 2014. Myron Stine says Stine Seed is looking forward to adding this new innovation to the trusted Roundup Ready 2 Yield system.
As glyphosate-resistant weeds become more problematic, companies like Stine are helping growers understand best practices for preserving the effectiveness of glyphosate, like rotating chemistries and crops. "The Roundup Ready system changed farming dramatically, and for the better," says Myron Stine. "So many growers are loyal to this system, which is why we're encouraging them to follow best management practices to ensure it will continue to be effective in the years to come."
Use best management strategies to protect effectiveness of current chemistries
Stine says growers who want to see the best results year after year in their fields should start familiarizing themselves with best management practices, as well as understanding the new weed control systems which will be available to help mitigate current herbicide resistance issues and prevent the problem from becoming even more widespread.
"Talk to your agronomist or seed dealer about what can be done today, as well as what's in the pipeline, so when the time comes, you can make an educated decision," he advises. Additional trait stacks are already in the works for some of the new technologies, which Stine says will give growers even more flexibility.