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What's up with new herbicides?

In recent years, the popularity of glyphosate-tolerant systems stymied chemical companies from developing new herbicides.

However, the specter of glyphosate-resistant weeds is snapping new life back into the agricultural herbicide market.

Here a few developments in that area we visited with industry folks about during March's Commodity Classic in Tampa, Florida.

  • DuPont continues to be on track with its new glyphosate technology, Optimum GAT.
    It's slated to be commercially introduced in 2009 in soybeans, pending regulatory approval. For corn, that date is 2010, pending regulatory approval.

MANA recently obtained federal registration to add Parazone 3SL to its herbicide portfolio.
Parazone 3SL, which contains the active ingredient paraquat, is broad-spectrum, non-selective herbicide. It's formulated for use as a harvest aid and in preplant burndowns. Parazone 3SL is also a resistance management tool, says company officials, as it contains a different mode of action than glyphosate.

Bayer CropScience expects to obtain full federal registration for Laudis between July and October this year, with a full-scale launch planned for 2008.
Laudis is a postemergence corn herbicide that contains the active ingredient tembotrione. It combines broadleaf control similar to Callisto with improved grass control and a proprietary corn safener that gives excellent crop safety and improved rotational flexibility. The active ingredient used in Laudis (tembotrione) will be used in other products to come, says Dave Feist, corn portfolio manager for Bayer CropScience.

Feist adds Bayer has several more new active ingredients in the pipeline. This fall, Bayer will announce two more corn-focused active ingredients that will result in three new corn-based products, he says.

BASF received federal registration last December for Status, a broadleaf weed herbicide for corn.
Status combines the active ingredients dicamba and diflufenzopyr, as well as a patented safener, isoxadifen. Status, a tank-mix partner with glyphosate, can be used in both Roundup Ready acres and as a stand alone for broadleaf weed control on conventional corn acres, say BASF officials. They add Status is also another tool farmers may use to manage glyphosate resistance.

Syngenta is offering Prefix herbicide in a co-pack in 2007, with plans for a full-scale launch in 2008.
Prefix is a mix of two active ingredients, S-metolachlor and fomesafen, that are used in Dual Magnum and Reflex, respectively. Dwayne Martin, herbicide brand manager for Syngenta Crop Protection, says Prefix's residual activity allows growers to control early-season weeds in soybeans before applying glyphosate postemergence. Another perk is its two modes of action that will help manage weed resistance to glyphosate, he says.

Syngenta also plans to launch a new small grain herbicide for broadleaves called Orion in 2008.
This follows on the heels of Axial, a new small grass herbicide that gained full federal registration last year.

In recent years, the popularity of glyphosate-tolerant systems stymied chemical companies from developing new herbicides.

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