Soybean Trait Toss Up

Pamela Smith
By  Pamela Smith , Crops Technology Editor
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Selecting a soybean herbicide trait system for 2019 will be complicated.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to decide soon whether or not to continue registrations for the three dicamba herbicides labeled for over-the-top use in the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System.

The label for Engenia herbicide expires Dec. 20, 2018, and the labels for XtendiMax and FeXapan expire Nov. 11.

“Our goal is to make a regulatory decision in time to inform seed and weed management purchase decisions for the 2019 growing season,” an EPA spokesperson told The Progressive Farmer via email. While that decision will decide the fate of the herbicide, the trait is still expected to head to the field in 2019. The Xtend technology transfers to Bayer upon the close of its acquisition of Monsanto.

The Balance GT Soybean Performance System, being developed by Bayer and MS Technologies, has cleared most of the critical international regulatory import hurdles. But as of press time, Balance Bean, the HPPD herbicide used with the system, was still in need of a label.

Bayer’s HPPD technology will be BASF property when the Monsanto purchase is finalized. Odessa Hines, BASF media manager, says the company is not able to discuss specific plans about the pending acquired brands until closing. “We do expect closing to happen in the third quarter,” she says. Bayer’s LibertyLink business also converts to BASF upon closing, but that trait is broadly licensed--as are glyphosate traits.

Some Enlist soybeans, which offer tolerance to 2,4-D choline, glufosinate and glyphosate, were grown under a special processor stewardship agreement in 2018. However, at press time, the Enlist trait still did not have clearance in China.

According to a spokesperson for the company: “Corteva Agriscience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, continues to pursue regulatory approval of Enlist E3 soybean technology in China. Plans for the 2019 season are being determined.”


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