Corteva releases Inzen herbicide resistance trait in Pioneer sorghum

Non-transgenic trait allows for over-the-top grass control in grain sorghum

Grassy weed control in grain sorghum has vexed farmers for years. 

Sorghum growers, however, have a new tool for over-the-top grass control in grain sorghum, with the new Inzen herbicide-tolerant trait from Corteva Agriscience, introduced earlier this week. 

Inzen is a non-transgenic trait, exclusive to Pioneer brand sorghum hybrids, that will allow for postemergence application of Zest WDG herbicide, an ALS-inhibitor herbicide with the active ingredient nicosulfuron, that controls annual grasses such as shattercane, foxtail, barnyardgrass and panicum. 

Zest WDG was designed by Corteva specifically for the grain sorghum market. Growers can apply a maximum total application of 1.8 ounces per acre in two post-emerge applications, between 4-inches and 20-inches on sorghum hybrids with the Inzen trait.

“This powerful new system brings together the diverse crop protection portfolio and expertise of Corteva Agriscience with world-class sorghum genetics from Pioneer,” says Brandon Walter, U.S. Product Manager, Corteva Agriscience. “Growers now have available a complete program approach to weed and grass control in grain sorghum, starting with a preemergence application of FulTime NXT or Cinch ATZ herbicides, followed by a postemergence application of Zest WDG herbicide.”

Growers using Inzen will need to manage the trait carefully, says Sarah Lancaster, weed scientist at Kansas State University. Weed screenings in Nebraska show some johnsongrass populations that contain resistance to ALS-inhibiting herbicides. And, as a grass herbicide, Zest WDG has no impact on problem broadleaf weeds such as Palmer amaranth or waterhemp. Still, the Inzen trait will give grain sorghum growers another weed control option for grain sorghum, which has seen huge demand in 2020 and 2021. 

“It will help open acres that previously were challenged with low yields or even were deemed unusable because of unchecked grass pressure to planting Pioneer brand sorghum, with all the yield and performance potential that growers expect from Pioneer,” says LeAnn Larson, Pioneer Sorghum Marketing Manager. 

An introductory supply of sorghum seed with Inzen technology will be available to select growers this year as a first step toward a full commercial launch for the 2022 growing season. Hybrids are targeted for the Coastal Plains and High Plains, according to Pioneer.

Over-the-top grass control in grain sorghum has been a long-standing priority for sorghum growers, says Brent Bean, director of agronomy, United Sorghum Checkoff Program. “The Inzen trait, along with Zest WDG herbicide, will provide a great resource for postemergence grass control."  

More information about the Inzen trait system plus Zest WDG herbicide, including stewardship best practices, can be found in the Corteva Agriscience 2021 Sorghum United States Product Use Guide, or by contacting your local Pioneer sales representative.

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