The company that created Roundup-tolerant soybeans, and got approval last October for a dicamba-tolerant soybean, has been cleared to stack both those genetics in Canada.
Monsanto Canada announced Thursday it has picked up "full regulatory approval" in Canada for Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans, billed as the industry's first biotech product with herbicide tolerance to both glyphosate and dicamba.
These approvals will also allow soybean growers in Canada to use a Group 4 product (dicamba) on their crops for the first time.
Pending "key global import and regulatory approvals," the U.S. seed and ag chem firm's Winnipeg-based Canadian arm said it expects a commercial release of the new trait stack in Canada for the 2014 growing season.
According to Monsanto's U.S. website, Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans are now in "phase 4" of the company's research and development (R+D) pipeline, but are also expected to be available to U.S. growers for the 2014 season, "pending regulatory approvals."
U.S. approval, at least, would be required before Canadian growers could hope to export their soy crops south of the border. Monsanto said it has picked up approval in the U.S. and Australia for the soybean's food use; U.S. approvals for feed use and environmental release are still pending.
"Our existing recommendations around sustainable weed management solutions in soybeans support the use of additional chemistries and modes of action as part of an integrated weed management strategy," Derek Freitag, Monsanto Canada's technology development lead in Eastern Canada, said in a release.
Having a soybean tolerant to dicamba and glyphosate "will build upon this strategy and also provide farmers with a much-needed tool to help control and manage against the development of herbicide resistance (in) weeds," he said.
Field testing of the new crop conducted at the University of Guelph over the past two years showed application of dicamba, either in-crop or before planting soybeans, has "proven effective" on glyphosate-resistant giant ragweed and Canada fleabane populations in Ontario, the company said.
The option to use in soybeans is also expected to offer improved control of other populations of herbicide-resistant weeds, such as Group 2- or Group 5-resistant biotypes, that are also known to exist in Canada, Monsanto said.
Dow may hold back Enlist corn in Canada, Jan. 23, 2013
Monsanto's dicamba-tolerant soybeans approved in Canada, Oct. 29, 2012
CLARIFICATION, Jan. 28, 2013: An earlier version of this article did not specify that Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans have already picked up U.S. federal approval for food use.