2,4-D-tolerant Canadian corn, soy a few years away

A new 2,4-D- and glyphosate-tolerant crop trait system that’s expected to be available in 2013 for U.S. growers is expected to be launched in Canada “in the next few years.”

Seed and ag chem firm Dow AgroSciences on Wednesday announced “pending” U.S. regulatory approvals for the components of what it’s dubbed the Enlist Weed Control System, starting with corn varieties.

The company bills Enlist as a “new herbicide-tolerant trait system that will provide robust tolerance to an innovative 2,4-D product, in addition to glyphosate.”

The system’s commercial launch in the U.S. is “anticipated in corn for the 2013 crop year with other crops to follow,” Dow Agro said.

The company’s Canadian arm in Calgary said it anticipates bringing the system to Canadian corn and soybean growers “as soon as we receive regulatory approvals for Canada,” spokesperson Brian de Kock said in an email. “We expect to launch this technology in Canada in the next few years.”

The Enlist system “will enable broad-spectrum control against tough weeds and a wide window for over-the-top application that aligns with the current glyphosate window,” the Indianapolis company said in its release.

The system “will partner with and improve upon the glyphosate-tolerant cropping system,” the company said, referring to Monsanto’s Roundup Ready trait systems.

“Growers have long embraced herbicide tolerant trait technology into their farming practices because of the ease of use and performance, but as of recently, present technology has had its challenges,” Damon Palmer, Dow Agro’s U.S. commercial leader for the Enlist system, said in the company’s release.

Enlist germplasm will be stacked with a glyphosate-tolerant trait as well as insect-resistant traits, Palmer said.

“Losing their fields”

“Weeds have adapted, becoming even more difficult to control, resulting in a decline of herbicide performance and increased resistance in important global agricultural markets,” Dow Agro said. For this project, “input from growers was incorporated early into the research and development.”

“Enlist, a name which farmers told us means commitment, is our weed control system to advance modern farming,” Dow Agro CEO Antonio Galindez said in the company’s release.

On a promotional website for the Enlist system, Dow Agro quoted Malcolm Haigwood, a farmer at Newport, Ark., about 135 km northeast of Little Rock, as saying growers are facing tough questions about the spread of weeds.

“Farmers my dad’s age just want to put on more glyphosate, but I see them losing their fields. Guys my son’s age have only farmed with the glyphosate-tolerant system. He’s asked me, ‘Dad, what do we do?'”

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