Monsanto to launch Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans this season

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Xtend soybeans St. Louis-based Monsanto Co. plans to launch its Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans this season after it received import approval from China. The varieties contain stacked traits tolerant to both glyphosate and dicamba herbicides.

These beans will be paired with Monsanto’s Roundup Xtend herbicide — a premix of glyphosate and a dicamba that contains the proprietary VaporGrip drift-retardant technology. Monsanto also has Roundup XtendiMax, a stand-alone dicamba, and BASF has Eugenia, a low-volatility dicamba.

The Environmental Protection Agency has not yet approved use of dicamba — regardless of the brand or formulation — over the top of these soybeans. Currently, growers are only allowed to spray glyphosate over the top  on these beans.

Monsanto plans to introduce the varieties under its Asgrow, Channel and regional brands. In addition, it has licensed the traits to about 100 other seed brands.

Altogether, about 70 soybean varieties across eight maturity groups are expected to be introduced this season with the stacked herbicide-resistant traits. These varieties contain the Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield germplasm as well as the Xtend trait, which confers dicamba tolerance.

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The University of Arkansas has some caveats for growers, especially those with glyphosate- or PPO-resistant pigweed, who may consider planting Roundup Ready Xtend soybeans this year.

“It is great news that we have finally moved forward with getting this technology approved and in the hands of our producers,” Extension weed scientist Tom Barber wrote recently. “However, it is also frustrating because by not having a dicamba labeled for use in this technology, we are most likely headed for a train wreck due to the lack of herbicide options in Xtend soybean for glyphosate and PPO-resistant pigweed.”

Click here to read more from Barber.

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