Monsanto Canada Preparing for First Biotech Stacked Trait in Soybeans

Apr 11, 2012

In early March 2012, Monsanto Company released additional details about its new biotech stacked trait in soybeans – a product that combines both glyphosate and dicamba tolerance to provide farmers with more consistent and flexible control of weeds - including tough-to-control and glyphosate-resistant weeds - and maximize yield potential. 

Pending regulatory approvals, Monsanto’s new biotech stacked trait of glyphosate and dicamba tolerance in soybeans is expected to be commercially available to Canadian farmers in time for the 2014 growing season. The dicamba-tolerant trait will be stacked with Monsanto’s Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybean technology and commercially branded as Genuity® Roundup Ready® 2 Xtend. Dicamba is a mode of action that has not previously been available to soybean farmers. 

Combining both dicamba and glyphosate tolerance in one product will give farmers the option of applying Roundup® WeatherMax in conjunction with existing low volatile formulations of dicamba, separately or as a tank mix. Monsanto is also developing a next-generation, lower-volatility formulation to complement the new product. 

The two modes of action available in the new product will enable soybean farmers to use dicamba and glyphosate together to eliminate weeds before planting and as an over-the-top-option during the season. Monsanto’s existing recommendations around sustainable weed management solutions in soybeans support the use of multiple modes of action as part of an integrated weed management strategy. Incorporating the use of dicamba within the Genuity® Roundup Ready® 2 Xtend System supports this strategy and will provide farmers with a much-needed potential solution to help manage glyphosate-resistant weeds such as Giant ragweed and Canada fleabane, both of which have been confirmed in Ontario. 

With the emergence and confirmation of glyphosate-resistant weeds in Ontario, farmers are looking for additional weed control options. Dicamba has been able to control a broad spectrum of weeds, including weeds that have been a challenge for glyphosate to control, or for those that have shown resistance to glyphosate. Dicamba also mixes well with glyphosate and offers some residual value, which may help extend weed control. The dicamba chemistry mimics natural auxins found in plants. Auxins are naturally occurring plant hormones that support plant growth and development. Since it was first discovered in the 1950s, dicamba has been used in various formulations, including turf applications, corn and wheat applications. 

In keeping with its commitment to product stewardship, Monsanto Canada is currently working on the development of comprehensive best management practices for farmers and applicators to support the successful on-farm stewardship of dicamba with the new herbicide tolerant system. 

Once regulatory approvals are granted and commercial sales begin, Genuity® Roundup Ready® 2 Xtend dicamba-tolerant soybeans will be available in Monsanto’s DEKALB seed brand and are also expected to be offered by more than 100 independent seed companies across the U.S and Canada. 

Field testing of dicamba tolerant soybeans conducted by Monsanto and academics at the University of Guelph over the past two years indicates that the application of dicamba prior to planting soybeans, or applying dicamba in-crop, has proven to be very effective on both glyphosate-resistant giant ragweed and glyphosate-resistant Canada fleabane populations. 

KEY POINTS 

  • Pending regulatory approvals, Monsanto’s new biotech stacked trait of glyphosate and dicamba tolerance in soybeans is expected to be commercially available to Canadian farmers in time for the 2014 growing season. 
  • The new stacked product of dicamba and glyphosate tolerance in soybeans will give farmers the option of applying Roundup® WeatherMax in conjunction with existing low volatile formulations of dicamba, separately or as a tank mix, to fully maximize the utility of this new herbicide tolerant system. 
  • Dicamba is a mode of action that has not previously been available to soybean farmers but it has a strong track record of being able to control a broad spectrum of weeds. Dicamba also mixes well with glyphosate and offers some residual value, which may help extend weed control. 
  • Field testing of dicamba tolerant soybeans conducted by Monsanto Canada and academics at the University of Guelph over the past two years indicates that the application of dicamba prior to planting soybeans, or applying dicamba in-crop, has proven effective on both glyphosate-resistant giant ragweed and glyphosate-resistant Canada fleabane populations. 
  • The dicamba-tolerant trait will be stacked with Monsanto’s Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybean technology and commercially branded as Genuity® Roundup Ready® 2 Xtend. Existing yield research data collected from Monsanto Canada field trials from 2008 – 2011 shows Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybeans have delivered an average yield advantage of three bushels per acre compared to original Roundup Ready® soybeans. Combined, the new product is expected to deliver superior weed control with improved yields.