Producers can expect additional herbicide-tolerant soybean options in the next decade as a result of a new cross-licensing agreement between Dow AgroSciences and DuPont.

Under the agreement, Dow AgroSciences is licensing nonexclusively its proprietary herbicide-tolerant trait technology for soybeans to DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred. In addition, Pioneer is licensing nonexclusively its proprietary Optimum GAT trait for soybeans to Dow AgroSciences. Each company has given the other rights to stack additional traits with its technology.

Dow AgroSciences expects to submit herbicide-tolerant trait technology data to U.S. regulatory agencies this year. Dow AgroSciences anticipates commercialization early in the next decade pending regulatory authorizations.

The new herbicide-tolerant trait technology allows growers to continue farming the way they want, but with improved weed-control capabilities and performance. The system is designed to provide control of glyphosate-resistant and other hard-to-control broadleaf weeds like morning glory, pigweeds including palmer amaranth, lambsquarters, marestail, waterhemp, giant and common ragweed, and velvetleaf. In anticipation of regulatory approvals for its herbicide-tolerant trait technology, Dow AgroSciences is developing new herbicide solutions based on 2,4-dichlorophenoxy acetic acid technology.

When stacked together, the Optimum GAT trait from Pioneer and the new herbicide-tolerant trait technology being developed by Dow AgroSciences would produce soybeans that are tolerant to 2,4-D, glyphosate, and acetolactate synthase (ALS) herbicides. The Optimum GAT trait from Pioneer provides tolerance to glyphosate and the ALS class of herbicides.

Optimum GAT soybeans have received U.S. regulatory approvals, and Pioneer expects to introduce them in 2011 upon regulatory approvals in key importing countries.