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Chinese Import Approval Keys Enlist E3 Soybeans and Qrome Corn Commercial Launches

Enlist E3 soybean commercial sales will start in 2019 and be broadly available in 2020.

Corteva Agriscience, agriculture division of DowDuPont, is launching Enlist E3 soybeans in 2019, with broad availability planned for 2020. Corteva Agriscience also is expanding the launch of Qrome products across the Corn Belt in 2019.

“I am excited to announce one of the largest soybean technology system launches ever,” said Corteva Agriscience CEO, James C. Collins Jr. in a company news release. “Enlist E3 soybeans incorporate advanced herbicide tolerance through three modes of action (glyphosate, glufosinate, and 2,4-choline) and enable use of our proprietary Enlist One and Enlist Duo herbicides to provide more complete solutions to farmers.”
“We are also announcing expanded availability of Qrome products across a wider geography, and to more customers,” said Collins in the news release. “Qrome hybrids have earned the trust of American producers for consistent performance and have produced high yields by combining top-tier genetics, strong defensive traits, and advanced seed treatments.”
Enlist E3 soybeans and Qrome corn products are among more than 20 new technologies that Corteva Agriscience plans to launch by 2021, according to company officials. Enlist E3 soybeans were jointly developed by Dow AgroSciences and MS Technologies. Both Enlist E3 soybeans and grain produced from Qrome corn products received import authorization from China in January 2019.

Enlist E3 Soybeans

Commercial sale efforts for Enlist E3 soybeans will start this year, although they won’t be broadly available to farmers for planting until 2020. First-half 2019 activities will focus on expanding grower experiences with Enlist E3 soybeans through demonstration plots, field technology days, and other opportunities, say company offiiclas. Second-half 2019 activities will focus on commercial sales efforts. Robust ramp-up plans and extensive seed production will ensure that Enlist E3 soybeans are broadly available to farmers in 2020, says company officials.   
Corteva Agriscience is also engaged with numerous potential seed trait licensees and intends to broadly license Enlist E3 soybean technology, say company officials.  
“Enlist E3 soybeans are industry-leading triple-stack herbicide-tolerant soybeans that allow Corteva Agriscience to better serve farmers with complementary seed and crop protection products,” said Collins in the company news release. “The fully-enabled launch of Enlist E3 soybeans follows the successful introduction of top-performing Enlist cotton varieties and Enlist corn hybrids in 2017 and 2018, respectively.”
The Enlist E3 soybean trait provides tolerance to new 2,4-D choline in Enlist Duo and Enlist One herbicides, as well as glyphosate and glufosinate herbicides. Enlist Duo herbicide is a combination of new 2,4-D choline and glyphosate, a blend for control of broadleaf and grass weeds. Enlist One herbicide is a 2,4-D choline product offering the same broadleaf weed control with tank-mix flexibility, including the ability to tank mix with qualified glufosinate products.
Growers can apply Enlist herbicides postemergence to Enlist E3 soybeans to help control glyphosate-resistant weeds; additional tolerance to glufosinate means they can utilize three postemergence herbicide modes of action in Enlist E3 soybean fields. With near-zero volatility and reduced potential for physical drift, Enlist herbicides with Colex-D technology are designed to land and stay on target, according to Corteva Agriscience officials.

Bill Johnson, Purdue University Extension weed specialist, says the Enlist E3 soybeans are a weed management tool that joins soybeans with glyphosate and dicamba tolerance in the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System. However, he advises farmers not to rely solely on postemergence passes as in the old days of the Roundup Ready system (glyphosate tolerance) first introduced in 1996. 

“That will kill those technologies quickly,” he says.

“Stacked resistant traits have value,” adds Jeff Gunsolus, University of Minnesota Extension weed specialist. “But they will be more durable if you do not have stacked resistance in weeds.”

Instead, forestalling resistance requires a multipronged approach. 

“Focus on early-season weed control from April through June,” says Gunsolus. “Start with a strong soil residual preemergence program.”

This is equally important in both corn and soybeans, he says. “There are excellent products for both crops,” he says. 

They can buy farmers time prior to use of a postemergence herbicide, he says. 

Qrome Product Technology

Corteva Agriscience officials say introductory quantities of Qrome products will be available in the Pioneer brand for 2019 planting across expanded Corn Belt geographies. For the 2020 growing season, Qrome products are planned across a wide range of genetic platforms and maturities in Corteva Agriscience seed brands. 

Qrome products feature a novel molecular stack of multiple insect protection traits and include two modes of action to control corn rootworm, says Corteva Agriscience officials. Pioneer brand Qrome products have consistently delivered an average 5.5-bushel yield advantage over legacy triple-stack technology in multiyear research trials, according to company officials. In 2018 on-farm trials, Qrome products held an average 10.2-bushel-per-acre advantage over all competitive products tested, according to company officials. 

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