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Draft EIS Comment Period Closes for Enlist Corn and Soybean Traits

USDA has closed its comment period on the Draft Environmental Impact
Statement (DEIS) for the Enlist corn and soybean traits. Dow
AgroSciences has developed these traits that include tolerance to 2,4-D.

Dow AgroScience officials say supporters including farmers,
weed scientists, specialty crop growers, members of Congress, state
legislators, and the public provided comments and more than 15,000
petition signatures to USDA in support of Enlist corn and soybeans.

also held a virtual public meeting on January 29 for the Enlist corn
and soybean traits, during which growers, representatives from state
agribusiness councils, and a university scientist testified in support
of the technology.

“The agricultural community simply must be
engaged when it comes to advocating for new technology,” said Alan
Kemper, former president, American Soybean Association in a Dow press
release. “This show of support for Enlist is extraordinary, and it’s
exactly what we need if American farmers are to have the tools we need
to steward our land for generations to come.” 

Dow officials
say USDA produced an extensive Draft EIS document with a well-supported
environmental evaluation of the Enlist corn and soybean traits. It also
considered existing farming practices and several potential
alternatives. USDA noted in the DEIS that its “preferred alternative” is
to approve Enlist corn and soybean crops.

In his comment to
USDA, Stanley Culpepper, weed scientist, University of Georgia,
articulated the need for new weed control tools and the role Enlist will
play. "The use of 2,4-D to assist in the management of
glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth would have instant and monumental
impact in cotton and soybean production," says Culpepper. 

coalition of eight growers representing Indiana, Illinois, Arkansas,
Kentucky, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, and Ohio submitted a
joint letter to USDA. While their weed control challenges, cultural
practices, and operations range in size and scope, the growers were
fully aligned in expressing why USDA’s deregulation of Enlist is
critical to modern agriculture.

A preliminary review of
comments posted to the docket thus far indicates no new questions have
been raised that haven’t been addressed in the DEIS or the environmental
assessments previously conducted by USDA on the Enlist corn and soybean

USDA is expected to review the comments it has received
in the coming weeks, and then will issue a Final Environmental Impact
Statement. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will open a comment
period for Enlist Duo herbicide in the coming weeks.

Pending regulatory approvals, Dow AgroSciences expects to launch Enlist corn and soybeans in 2015, with cotton to follow.

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