Get set for XtendFlex soybeans in 2021

XtendFlex soybeans feature tolerance to dicamba, glufosinate,and glyphosate.

It’s official: Soybean farmers will now be able to plant XtendFlex soybeans that tolerate glufosinate (Group 10), glyphosate (Group 9), and dicamba (Group 4) herbicides in 2021.

“The European Commission was the final key market approval that we needed to enable our full-scale commercial launch for the 2021 season,” says Lisa Streck, Bayer Crop Science North America soybean launch lead. “We’ll have products available from maturity group 0 to (maturity) group 7. XtendFlex will be available in all our Bayer branded products as well as our corn states licensees.

“It’s the first trait that has tolerance to dicamba, glyphosate, and glufosinate (Liberty), and it’s built on the proven performance of Roundup Ready to Yield technology,” Streck adds. “Farmers will have comparable yields in their XtendFlex varieties that they’ve seen with their Xtend products. We’ve had a robust field trial plan this summer. We’ve had over 600 market development trials where we’ve had XtendFlex tested against competitive products. We’ll be looking forward to seeing those harvest results as they come in this fall.”

A key component of XtendFlex is its flexibility, she says. The system’s three herbicide sites of action enable farmers to form a weed management program based on the individual needs of their farms, Streck says. (Only approved dicamba formulations can be used on XtendFlex soybeans.)

Many pigweed populations like Palmer amaranth have resisted glyphosate. Larry Steckel, University of Tennessee Extension weed specialist, says greenhouse and field research this season suggest Tennessee counties now host dicamba-resistant (DR) Palmer amaranth.

So far, though, glufosinate applied to glufosinate-tolerant soybeans has dodged resistance to pigweeds like Palmer amaranth. However, that may be changing. Tom Barber, University of Arkansas Extension weed specialist, visited several pigweed patches in Arkansas in July where it appeared glufosinate had been less effective than it should have. “We have not done the adequate testing on these fields or populations to officially call them resistant but based on my observations, control with Liberty in these fields is at the very least, slipping. We will collect seed and soil to do further testing,” he wrote in a July 22 article. 

That’s why it’s key to have a resistance management program in place for XtendFlex soybeans. “Through our education programs, we’re really highlighting the importance of a strong (preemergence ) residual and the use of multiple modes of action in order to have a strong program to limit the amount of weed resistance,” Streck says.

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