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Roundup Ready 2 Xtend Soybeans So Far: Yes on Seed, No On Herbicide

You’ll be able to plant Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System soybeans for 2016. But apply the accompanying herbicide or herbicide mix on these soybean varieties that tolerate glyphosate and dicamba? Not so much.

At least that’s where it stands now. Last February, following Chinese import approval, Monsanto announced plans to launch Roundup Ready 2 Xtend Crop System soybeans for 2016. 

Seed supplies are in good shape. “2015 was a good production season,” says Miriam Paris, U.S. soybean marketing manager for Monsanto. Supplies are excellent, and farmer demand has been strong, she adds.

Monsanto’s Asgrow, Channel, and regional brands, along with Corn States licensees, expect to introduce more than 70 soybean varieties across eight maturity groups. Monsanto officials say agronomic traits will include resistance to soybean cyst nematode and phytophthora root rot.

There’s a hitch, though 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not yet approved the new low-volatile formulations of dicamba that accompany this technology. Monsanto has two new dicamba formulations in the works that accompany this technology.  Roundup Xtend, a glyphosate-dicamba premix and Roundup XtendiMax is a stand-alone dicamba formulation. BASF’s Engenia herbicide is another new low-volatility dicamba herbicide that can be used in the system. 

So far, though, no federal or state labels for any preemergence or postemergence applications of any dicamba-containing product has yet been granted, says Aaron Hager, University of Illinois Extension weed specialist. (For more information, go to

“We remain hopeful for 2016,” says Paris. Until EPA gives its approval, though, these chemistries cannot be used. Use of existing dicamba herbicides over the top of Xtend soybeans is not allowed. 

So why move forward? 

Because the new varieties are that good, according to Monsanto officials. Years of investment in breeding and defensive factors like disease tolerance makes them excellent varieties, say Paris.

Why dicamba? 

It has excellent weed management attributes, for one, says Paris. “Dicamba chemistry has been in the marketplace for 40-some years,” says Paris. She adds it’s been effective on numerous weed species over that time, including hard-to-control ones like waterhemp and marestail.

The new formulations will also feature fewer plantback restrictions, unlike current formulations. Farmers who apply current dicamba formulations (like Clarity) for burndown have to wait 14 to 28 days with 1 inch of accumulated precipitation before soybeans can be planted, depending on the rate used. 

The Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System also offers up to 14 days of residual control with its dicamba formulations, say Monsanto officials. 

Historically, the knock against dicamba has been that it’s prone to moving off-target via high volatility. One perk of the new formulations is their low volatility compared to existing dicamba formulations, say Monsanto officials.

“We also have conducted quite a bit of research on BMPs (best management practices) for spray applications,” says Paris. “We have conducted many educational efforts to ensure the herbicide stays where it needs to stay, and promote practices like using the right nozzles.” 

For more information on this technology, go to


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