What’s coming down the pike from Bayer CropScience

12/03/2010 @ 6:32pm

HPPD-inhibitor resistant trait, new corn rootworm-resistant trait in the works



There’s a flurry of new products coming down the pike from agricultural seed and chemical companies in the next few years. Last September, Bayer CropScience invited journalists worldwide to its corporate headquarters in Monheim, Germany, for a look at what it has coming down the pike later this decade.

Bayer CropScience has stepped up trait development with completion of its purchase of Athenix in 2009. Company officials say this North Carolina firm gives Bayer the platform to develop future herbicide tolerant and insect- and nematode-resistant traits. Traits and other technology you’ll see include:

·      A new glyphosate tolerance trait called GlyTol set to appear in cotton in 2011 in the United States. The glyphosate-tolerant trait uses a different gene and promoter than the Roundup Ready glyphosate-tolerant trait.

·      Pending regulatory approval, Bayer plans to debut a soybean trait in 2015 tolerant to HPPD-inhibitor herbicides now used on corn like BalanceFlexx. This gives another mode of action that will help farmers manage weeds resistant to glyphosate, say Bayer officials.

Plans are to offer this the HPPD-inhibitor tolerant trait in a double stack with GlyTol and in a triple stack with GlyTol and the LibertyLink trait in 2015, pending regulatory approval.

* A nematode-resistant trait that helps soybeans resist soybean cyst nematode in soybeans and nematodes in corn is in development.

* A new corn rootworm resistant trait. “This is the most progressed one,” says Rudiger Scheitza, head of global portfolio management for Bayer CropScience.  “Our trials with Athenix are outperforming the existing (corn rootworm-resistant) traits that are now in the marketplace.”

* Penflufen is a seed treatment slated for release later this decade. It’s aimed at curbing rhizoctonia disease in crops including corn and soybeans. Bayer has not announced a brand name for penflufen.

·      Poncho/Votivo in 2011. It’s a combination of Bayer’s existing Poncho insecticide seed treatment with Votivo, a bacterial compound that protects roots from nematodes.

What’s up with LibertyLink

Bayer will continue to increase offerings of LibertyLink soybeans in 2011.

This gives farmers the alternatives in those areas where glyphosate resistance is showing up,” Scheitza says.

Sharply declining glyphosate prices have challenged competing weed control herbicides and systems like LibertyLink and its herbicide component, Ignite.

“It has impacted our expectations (of sales) for Ignite,” says Scheitza. Rather than trying to match the price cuts, though, Bayer is aiming the technology for those areas with glyphosate-resistant weeds.

“What we can do is to develop the technology for those acres where the farmers need an alternative and are willing to broaden those acres with LibertyLink soybeans,” says Scheitza. “So, we see steady growth year by year.”