Trait Changes

Syngenta traits have been in the farm press lately. That organization has struggled with approvals in China since the introduction of Viptera® (we call it BL in our product name). The trait is unique to Syngenta and brings control of Western Bean Cutworm as well as Black Cutworm, insects not well controlled by other traits. Their newest trait stack is called Duracade® and includes a new Rootworm trait that is also not approved in China. Despite the negative publicity Syngenta has implemented a strong effort to make sure that hybrids with these traits have a path to market. They have partnered with Gavilon, which is proactively contacting customers to make them aware that they have an outlet for the grain. Despite the challenges getting foreign approvals, it’s my opinion that Syngenta has responded in the best way possible to keep these products in the marketplace.

The RoundupReady2® soybean lineup will most likely be significantly overhauled in the next 2-4 years with new technology. RoundupReady Xtend® from Monsanto featuring dicamba tolerance and RoundupReady® plus Enlist® featuring 2,4-D tolerance from Dow are the front runners. Both trait technologies were delayed at least one year coming to market because the EPA demanded an Environmental Impact Statement before approving the traits. We view this as a preemptive action to prevent the legal challenges that RoundupReady® alfalfa suffered. A significant part of the conversation is minimizing drift and volatilization of the growth regulator chemistry. Applicator education for variables such as droplet size, wind speed, pressure, and application buffer strips have already been implemented by Monsanto. In addition, Monsanto has branded VaporGrip® technology which will significantly reduce volatile dicamba compared to previous commercial formulations. The regulatory delay has allowed Monsanto to ramp up production quantities across multiple maturities so I expect a fairly rapid conversion in our product lineup once they are approved and launched.

Dow has been advertising the Enlist® brand for the past two plus years. Without regulatory approval they are not allowed to promote a product or discuss a price, so the ads persist I assume to create brand awareness. Dow has a less robust licensing channel so our path forward with Enlist® soybeans is not as clear. They will have a less volatile formulation of 2,4-D but to date we have less information about this product than the new dicamba formulations.

April 2014 Earfull Newsletter
Written by Jeff Renk

Related Articles