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Dow’s Enlist System is a Go for Corn in 2018; Still Waiting for Soybeans

Dow AgroSciences Plans to Launch Enlist Soybeans in 2018, Pending Chinese and EU Approvals.

Dow AgroScience’s Enlist Weed Control System is a go in cotton, with system varieties having been planted on about 500,000 U.S. acres this year. It received the green light in corn last June, when China and the European Union (EU) approved Enlist corn. Dow will fully commercially launch the system in corn in 2018.

Soybeans, though, remain a stumbling block.

 “We are ready to be commercialized in soybeans,” says John Chase, U.S. commercial leader for the Enlist Weed Control System. However, that won’t happen until China and the EU approve the traits. Chase, though, is optimistic that the June approvals for corn give momentum for approval of future traits. If Chinese and EU approval occurs, Dow plans to fully launch its Enlist and Enlist E3 soybeans in 2018. 

Chase gave an update of where the Enlist system is headed at a media day last week at a Dow AgroSciences research facility near Maxwell in central Iowa. 

What the Enlist System Does

The Enlist Weed Control System confers herbicide tolerance to a new 2,4-D formulation—2,4-D choline—and glyphosate in corn, soybeans, and cotton and fop herbicides in corn. Federal regulators have approved the herbicide portion of the system, Enlist Duo. It’s a mix of glyphosate and 2,4-D choline. 

Enlist soybeans and Enlist E3 soybeans tolerate 2,4-D choline, glyphosate, and glufosinate.

Dow officials say the Enlist Duo herbicide that contains 2,4-D choline has 87% and 96% reduction in volatility compared with existing 2,4-D amine and 2,4-D ester formulations, respectively. Meanwhile, Enlist Duo cuts drift potential 90% compared with older 2,4-D formulations when applied using low-drift-potential nozzles, say Dow officials. 

 Allen Henry, an Indianola, Iowa, farmer, has applied Enlist Duo to his corn as part of a limited select launch. Weed control has been “beyond expectations” and it has stayed on fields to which he has applied. “We live a quarter mile from the city limits, so we have to be neighbor-friendly,” he says. 

Besides marestail and waterhemp, another weed that troubles farmers in that area is morningglory. “Few products in our area control it,” he says. However, Enlist Duo has given excellent control, he says.

 So far, Dow will market Enlist corn through its brands of Mycogen, Pfister, Brodbeck, and Dairlyland Seeds. Dow is also pursuing licensing agreements with other seed firms, says Chase.

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