New Weed Control Tools Coming Into Fuller View

It may not be a Roundup Ready dominated world for long, as several new herbicide-tolerant technologies will be available in the near future.

Remember the days when it seemed a new herbicide mode of action or active ingredient for controlling weeds was being discovered and made available to no-tillers each year? Well, we’re beginning to enter a similar golden era with herbicide-tolerant crops.

For a decade or more, Roundup Ready has dominated the in-plant trait marketplace. But with glyphosate-resistant weeds being discovered annually — the latest being johnsongrass — concerns continue to mount about the long-term efficacy of glyphosate.

While it has found its way on fewer acres, LibertyLink technology has proven to be an excellent alternative to glyphosate in corn. Now, with the price of glyphosate having doubled in the past year, the price of Liberty herbicide suddenly looks a lot more attractive. That could lead corn growers to adopt this technology more in the coming years.

In addition, Bayer CropScience officials are hoping that LibertyLink technology will be available to U.S. soybean growers in time for the 2009 production season.

At the Commodity Classic held recently in Nashville, Tenn., we had the opportunity to discuss in more detail with manufacturers the new traits about to enter the market. Here’s a summary.

ALS Tolerance

Officials from DuPont say its Optimum GAT trait will be available in Pioneer corn hybrids and soybean varieties by 2010. This technology, which will be available through Greenleaf Genetics and Syngenta Seeds, will combine traits that provide tolerance to both glyphosate and ALS chemistries.

While there are pockets in the Corn Belt where weeds are resistant or tolerant…

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Darrell Bruggink

Executive Editor/Publisher

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