The 2020 growing season brings a number of options when it comes to herbicide-tolerant technology. With different traits available, herbicide trait technology is a critical part of the variety selection decision. Growers must weigh many factors, namely weed management, risk tolerance and overall profitability, when deciding which herbicide trait package is the best fit for their farm or field.
When selecting herbicide trait packages, it is more important than ever to understand which herbicides are compatible with a given platform to avoid accidental damage for both your fields – and your neighbors’. Having options is a good thing when working to combat resistant weeds, but with those options come new challenges. Below is the latest information on each trait option.
Roundup Ready Technology
- Roundup Ready: The original glyphosate-tolerant trait has been off patent since 2015. The trait is available in varieties released from smaller seed suppliers and public breeding programs. Because the trait is off patent, seed cost is relatively low (closer to that of conventional seed) and growers can save seed.
- Roundup Ready 2: The next iteration of glyphosate-tolerant technology. This trait remains a standalone option for growers in 2020.
- RR2 Xtend: This trait provides resistance to both glyphosate and dicamba and is one of the most popular options for US growers, accounting for 60% of the soybeans planted in the US last year. The corresponding herbicides include XtendiMax, Engenia, and FeXapan.
- XtendFlex: This is Bayer’s next generation of Xtend beans. It provides resistance to glyphosate, dicamba, and glufosinate. Availability will likely be limited in 2020.
Liberty Link Technology
- LibertyLink: The original glufosinate-tolerant trait remains a standalone option in 2020.
- LL GT27: This trait provides resistance to glufosinate, glyphosate, and a new HPPD/Group 27 herbicide (pending EPA approval). This trait is only available in limited maturity groups ranging from Group 0 to mid-Group 4.
- Enlist E3: This trait provides resistance to glyphosate, 2,4-D choline, and glufosinate. Availability is currently limited to Group 00 to Group 4. The corresponding herbicides include Enlist One (2,4 D choline) and Enlist Duo (glyphosate and 2,4-D choline pre-mix)
- STS-tolerant soybeans provide the only trait package that is non-GM. STS-tolerant soybeans are tolerant to sulfonylurea herbicides (in the ALS-inhibitor class).
Having options is a good thing when working to combat resistant weeds, but with those options come new challenges. Stewardship and attention to detail are key to eliminating off-target injury. We must all work together to ensure the registrations for these products remain for years to come.