What is in this article?:
- Farmers have more choices for insect and herbicide tolerance traits than ever before.
- Mixing up trait choices can help avoid resistance, and options are available.
- Know pest profiles - weeds and insects - before picking hybrids.
Patent note and future tech
For farmers thinking about the future of Roundup Ready soybean tech and the end of Monsanto's patent of the tech in 2015, Trepanier notes that while 2016 might be the first year farmers would have that tech patent free, that doesn't mean seed saving is in the future. "We are actively protecting our other patents that are covered and we have more than 200 patents covering our soybeans today."
ADDED FOR THE WEB: Bayer CropScience and MSTechnologies have been working on Balance GT which combines tolerance to isoxaflutole - the active ingredient in Balance Bean herbicide with tolerance to glyphosate. The product recently received approval from USDA for cultivation, so it's moving forward in the regulatory process. You can look for Balance GT by mid-decade.
Syngenta and Bayer CropScience are working together on a new trait that'll be available later in the decade that they're calling MGI. It'll be another tool in the toolbox for weed control offering a trait that confers tolerance to three herbicide active ingredients - mesotrione, glufosinate and isoxaflutole. "This offers multiple modes of action," Scott Erickson says. "We're bringing a lot of ammunition to bear to fight resistant weed issues."
Ben Kaehler, U.S. seeds general manager, Dow AgroSciences, notes that even Smart Stax will get a revise later in the decade with new trait tech to control corn rootworm. "Resistance is a concern for us," he notes, adding that Smart Stax has two modes of action below ground. "We recently reached an agreement with Monsanto for their new RNAi3 trait to be added by the end of the decade."