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USDA announces deregulation of dicamba-tolerant trait in cotton and soybeans

In Delta Farm Press

USDA’s decision to deregulate the dicamba-tolerant trait in cotton and soybeans moves farmers a step closer to having a new tool for controlling Palmer amaranth and other economically troublesome weeds.

Cotton and soybean producers are now awaiting an announcement by EPA on Federal Section 3 registrations for two new dicamba formulations – Mon 1661 from Monsanto and Engenia from BASF – that can be applied over the top of cotton and soybeans containing the dicamba-resistant trait.

The new traits will be marketed as Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans and Bollgard II Xtend Flex cotton. Monsanto has indicated it could launch five new Bollgard II Xtend Flex cotton varieties if the new dicamba formulations are approved by EPA in time for the 2015 season.

“This announcement marks an important milestone for farmers around the world,” said Robb Fraley, Monsanto’s chief technology officer. “Weeds represent a key pest to agriculture operations around the world and limit crops of much-needed nutrients, sunlight and access to available water resources. We’re excited to provide additional tools that can help improve efficiencies on farm and support farmers in bringing more food to harvest for consumers.”

Monsanto has been working diligently over the last ten years to develop the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System and bring it to market. “The dedication, effort and number of people that have touched this project has been extraordinary, and demonstrates our continued commitment to bring a range of agriculture solutions to farmers – including game-changing traits like Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans and Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton,” said Fraley.

“BASF is committed to providing new technologies for growers, as shown by our $1.5 million per day investment in agricultural research,” said Scott Kay, vice president, U.S. Crop Protection, BASF. “Through our continued commitment to innovation, BASF will bring to market its most advanced dicamba formulation, Engenia herbicide,” pending regulatory approval.

For the rest of the story, go to Delta Farm Press.

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