Get Geared Up

Renk Seed has to “gear up” for the growing season just like our customers. A key difference is what we grow this season will be what you grow next season, or maybe I should say what we hope you’re growing next season! I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to some new terms that our team will be kicking off when new products are officially announced this fall.

All trait providers are working feverishly to put the best trait package in the best genetics. Monsanto will continue to dominate our trait offerings and will be upgrading VectorTriple® (VT3) to VectorTriple Pro® (VT3P) and ultimately SmartStax® (SSTX). Incredibly we will have all these technologies in production simultaneously this summer, though none will be on the same products. VT3P is an upgrade of Monsanto’s “triple stack” with a new Corn Borer event. You won’t see many VT3P products in our lineup next year or the year after. Its importance is that VT3P will be the foundation of SSTX.

“The emphasis will be on product performance (yield), not on the available trait technologies.”

SmartStax® (SSTX) is a multiple gene stack of VT3P plus Herculex XTRA® (HXTRA); think of it as insect protection times two. Actually there are three genes protecting against each insect, Monsanto’s new Corn Borer event is two genes and so is Herculex RW. Monsanto and Dow are hoping that SmartStax® is approved with a reduced refuge requirement. With multiple genes protecting against each insect it is less likely that resistance will arise. VT3P was approved by EPA with reduced refuge requirement on the Corn Borer portion of the technology so there is a precedent. Refuge compliance is a major issue in the new era of large acreages of multiple stacked trait technologies. Reduced refuge will make compliance much easier and if the refuge requirement is low enough, expect to see “refuge in a bag” mandated as a mechanism for compliance. SSTX is not yet approved by EPA as I write this so I can’t say much about products or pricing. Renk Seed will have two SSTX hybrids in production this summer. If approvals fall in place we will have at least five more grown next winter in anticipation of the launch.

Syngenta traits are starting to mature and playing a larger role in our products. There will be at least four GTCBLLRW hybrids in our lineup next season complementing, or in some cases replacing, the CBLLRW hybrids we introduced this season. We will also have a GTCBLL product in the early end of our lineup as we search for the right trait and price point mix for our early season customers. We have made a much stronger production commitment to conventional hybrids than the past 3 or 4 seasons, especially in the earliest maturities as the escalating cost of the multiple stack traits drives some customers to less expensive alternatives.

As you read above, Herculex® (HX) hybrids will be making a comeback in our product lineup disguised as SSTX. In addition, we will be adding a RRHXTRA product at 107 day. We have had very few HX products in our lineup so I’ll take this opportunity to update you on the nomenclature. We used HX to designate the base Herculex event which was Corn Borer stacked with Liberty® tolerance. HXTRA is a triple stack that includes two Rootworm genes with the Corn Borer and Liberty. RRHXTRA is a quad stack that includes Monsanto RR2.

I hope the acronyms listed above are not too confusing. A simple message from this article is that VT3 or VT3P, GTCBLLRW and RRHXTRA offer essentially identical insect and herbicide protection.The discussion this fall will be whether RK760VT3 is better than RK692GTCBLLRW or RK711RRHXTRA. The emphasis will be on product performance (yield), not on the available trait technologies

Related Articles