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What’s New in the Corn and Soybean Herbicide Pipeline
The search for a new herbicide site of action in corn and soybeans is starting to look a bit like the search for the Holy Grail. It’s out there, but no one has found it yet. The last new herbicide site of action for corn and soybeans came in the form of the HPPD inhibitors (Group 27 herbicides like Callisto, Balance Flexx). These were first commercialized over 15 years ago.
“We are looking for that elusive new chemistry,” says Adrian Percy, global head of research and development for Bayer CropScience. Percy and others discussed the herbicide market at last week’s Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas.
“We’re not giving up in looking and screening for new active ingredients,” says David Hollinrake, vice president of North America marketing for Bayer CropScience. “That is a huge part of what drives us.”
Bayer officials say it has some new herbicide technology on the way that is “revolutionary.” HPPD-inhibitor selective products are in the development pipeline, says Hollinrake. Work is being done independently of a trait package. The chemistry is still in the early stages, as commercialization will likely be in the mid-2020s if all goes well.
So far, federal regulators have approved three low-volatile formulations of dicamba for use on Monsanto’s Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans that tolerate dicamba this year. They include:
• Monsanto’s Xtendimax with VaporGrip. Vapor Grip is an additive that reduces volatilization. Tankmix and nozzle information can be found at http://bit.ly/2l0sQR1.
• BASF’s Engenia, another dicamba formulation that is lower in volatility than existing ones. BASF has a tool to help applicators build an EPA-approved tankmix and use specified nozzles for Engenia herbicide at http://www.engeniatankmix.com.
• DuPont will also market its own brand of low-volatile dicamba with Vapor Grip technology called FeXapan. Nozzle and tankmix information can be found at http://bit.ly/2mCD2C9.
Monsanto also has developed another herbicide for its dicamba-tolerant system that hasn’t yet received federal approval. Roundup Xtend is a premix of glyphosate and a low-volatile formulation of dicamba.
Enlist Weed Control System
Soybeans and corn in the Enlist Weed Control System are “ready to go,” says Ben Kaehler, U.S. sales leader for Dow AgroSciences. However, Dow AgroSciences is waiting for import approval on corn and soybeans from China. The Enlist Weed Control System confers tolerance to glyphosate and a new low-volatile formulation of 2,4-D on corn and soybeans and also to fop herbicides in corn and glufosinate in soybeans.
Quelex for Wheat
In small grains, Dow AgroSciences is launching Quelex herbicide. Quelex offers control of numerous broadleaves, says Abe Smith, Dow AgroSciences market development specialist. The postemergence herbicide combines two active ingredients, Arylex Active and florasulam. Arylex Active has an auxin agonist site of action (Group 4). Florasulam has an ALS-inhibitor site of action (Group 2). The weeds it controls include henbit, chickweed, field pennycress, redroot pigweed, common lambsquarters, and marestail.
Quelex herbicide may be applied in the autumn or spring in winter wheat. For best results, company officials say it should be applied when weeds are actively growing in the 2- to 4-leaf stage or when they are less than 4 inches tall. Quelex has a three-month rotational interval for oats, field corn, cotton, popcorn, seed corn, sweet corn, millet, rye, sorghum, grasses, soybeans, and sunflowers.