You won't see any seed labeled IMI-tolerant in seed catalogs this fall. American Cyanamid has instructed its seed partners to use the new term, Clearfield.

Free and clear tradename. The multimillion dollar name change will enable the company to market its seed and herbicide system overseas without the risk of trademark infringement. "IMI is a trademark that we couldn't use worldwide," explains Kay Iftner, American Cyanamid's director of global strategic marketing communications. "Plus there was no strong association with what it means."

The Clearfield name and slice-of-earth logo will appear on the packaging of all IMI herbicides and IMI-tolerant seed to designate that the two technologies work together to control weeds in crops. Growers can simply match the logo on the seed bag to that on the herbicide to get the right seed and herbicide combination, according to Scott Gaddis, director for the company's herbicide-tolerant crops, cereals div.

More products coming. The company is working with more than 100 seed companies including Pioneer Hi-Bred, Golden Harvest, Garst and Mycogen to incorporate IMI-resistance in more than 350 corn hybrids by the year 2000, all of which will carry the Clearfield name.

It projects that 6 to 7 million corn acres, or about 10% of all U.S. corn acres, will be planted to Clearfield hybrids by that date. Currently 5% of the U.S. seed corn market is held by IMI-tolerant hybrids, first released in 1992 in conjunction with Pioneer.

Plans are to expand the Clearfield technology to other crops, including wheat, rice, with full registration in canola by 2001.

Tailored weed control. Gaddis says the Clearfield system gives growers more choices to control weeds than other herbicide-tolerant seed lines because the imidazolinone family consists of six compounds.

Another advantage is that most Clearfield hybrids were developed through advanced breeding techniques instead of genetic modification and therefore face no export restrictions. The company is quick to add that the advantage is temporary because it is working with seed companies to produce transgenic crops as well.