Few Herbicide Developments

If you have the feeling that fewer new herbicides are coming on the market these days, your thinking is right on the mark.

Mark Loux, a Ohio State University weed scientist, says the introduction of herbicides with new active ingredients has slowed. The last ones registered for use in corn and soybeans were mesotrione (Callisto), foramsulfuron (Option) and flumioxazin (Valor).

In fact, he says that the Ohio weed science program is not currently testing any new experimental herbicide ingredients. Loux says that this is a major concern due to the growing resistance to ALS inhibitors and PPO inhibitors (Flexstar, Cobra, etc.).

Critical Concerns. Loux believes that the lack of new herbicide developments is due to a combination of factors:

  1. Industry consolidation and fewer active herbicide screening programs by chemical companies and universities.
  2. More stringent pesticide registration requirements and Environmental Protection Agency procedures that are required for approval.
  3. Increased costs for developing new pesticide products.
  4. More intense competition among manufacturers and relatively low herbicide prices, which sharply reduces the ability of a chemical company to recover herbicide development costs. Loux believes much of this problem is due to the impact of Roundup Ready herbicide and seed program concerns.

Need Is There

“We will eventually have sufficient resistance to current herbicides to justify higher prices for any new herbicide that could solve impending resistance problems,” says Loux. “At that point, the introduction of new active ingredients might be more likely.

“However, chemical companies have screened hundreds of thousands of chemicals for herbicidal…

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Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has served as editor of No-Till Farmer since the publication was launched in November of 1972. Raised on a six-generation Michigan Centennial Farm, he has spent his entire career in agricultural journalism. Lessiter is a dairy science graduate from Michigan State University.

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