BASF and Monsanto Co. have made significant progress toward launching next-generation, dicamba-based weed control systems for soybeans and cotton. The companies say they have made major advancements in the development of dicamba formulations, which could be available globally for farmers this decade.
“We are focused on providing farmers another tool for weed management,” says Kerry Preete, Monsanto vice president of crop protection. “Today’s announcement is an indication that together with BASF, we are making significant progress in bringing this new technology to farmers. Together the strength of the formulation expertise BASF has with dicamba and our team’s biotech focus seeks to deliver another breakthrough product in weed control.”
The companies recently completed joint field testing of new dicamba-based formulations applied over the top of Monsanto’s next-generation dicamba-tolerant soybean technology in development. The research, conducted at Monsanto’s Monmouth, IL, research facility, demonstrated excellent weed control and crop safety on the dicamba-tolerant soybeans.
“Innovative formulations with proven chemistries are an invaluable asset for weed resistance management and a cornerstone of sustainable agriculture,” says Markus Heldt, president of BASF’s Crop Protection division. “The dicamba tolerant system is designed give growers pre- and post emergence application flexibility, allowing them to better manage their resources and thus improving productivity.”
Additional field studies at various BASF research locations supported these results and confirmed significantly improved attributes compared to formulations available in the market today. This new formulation work offers even further improvement in physical characteristics that result in better performance and safety to nearby crops.
Upon commercialization, the dicamba tolerance trait is expected to be stacked with the high yielding Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybean trait. These next-generation technologies are aimed at offering farmers multiple modes of action and superior application timing flexibility in combating yield-robbing weeds. Monsanto announced progress in the U.S. regulatory package submissions in July.
BASF and Monsanto entered into a joint licensing agreement to develop innovative formulations for dicamba for use with herbicide-resistant cropping systems in January 2009. The two companies also have an established R&D collaboration to develop other new trait technologies for farmers.