Dow AgroSciences LLC and Monsanto Co. have submitted their much-anticipated SmartStax stacked corn trait combination to EPA, moving the technology one step closer to the field.
SmartStax combines insect protection and weed control through the first-ever eight-stack gene combination in corn. The technology is being jointly developed and registered by Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences. The product remains on track for commercial launch in 2010 pending appropriate regulatory approvals. SmartStax features multiple traits designed to control corn insect pests both above and below ground while offering farmers two choices of herbicide tolerance in one seed.
Curently, U.S. corn growers are required to plant a “structured refuge,” or a plot of corn that does not use the same Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) technology near corn areas that have in-plant Bt protection. The SmartStax platform is anticipated to be the first set of technologies to enable a reduction in corn refuge for both above and below ground pests.
Monsanto will offer SmartStax across its three corn seed channels which include leading national brands, such as DEKALB, regional brands in the company’s American Seeds, Inc., and license partners through Corn States seed company. The platform will also serve as the entry point for future advanced technologies in corn, such as water stress tolerance and nitrogen efficiency, among others.
Dow AgroSciences will offer SmartStax through its Mycogen and Triumph Seed brands, and will use the trait platform to launch future trait technologies including Dow Herbicide Tolerance (DHT) and other agronomic enhancements. DHT is a new family of traits that will provide tolerance to 2,4-D and other classes of herbicides.