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Verdeca Receives USDA Approval of HB4 Drought-Tolerant Soybeans

Verdeca Says Novel Trait Stack Expected to Help Growers Facing Climate and Production Challenges.

Verdeca, a joint venture of Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. and Bioceres Crop Solutions Corp. has received USDA approval for its HB4 drought-tolerant soybeans. 

This will allow U.S. market commercialization, say Verdeca officials. The approval comes two years after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) approval of the HB4 trait in 2017.

The HB4 stack is Verdeca’s newest product release from its pipeline of traits developed to benefit soybean producers through quality improvement, stress mitigation, and management practices, say company officials. 

“HB4 is a novel soybean trait that enhances the traditional herbicide tolerance package to provide yield stability across diverse environments,” said Martin Mariani Ventura, general manager of Verdeca, in a news release. “Approval of this technology in the United States is a significant step for the successful commercialization of HB4 technology in the global soybean market.”

With USDA approval, the HB4 trait now has regulatory approval in more than 80% of the global soybean market. The HB4 trait has already been approved in Argentina and Brazil, with regulatory submissions currently under consideration by China, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Uruguay. Import approval from China is needed for commercial launch in Argentina, and is now expected in 2020, say Verdeca officials. 

While the 2019 growing season has challenged many U.S. soybean growers with too much water, key soybean production areas – including some areas within the United States – just last year suffered reduced yields due to water and heat stress, say company officials. 

Arcadia Biosciences and Bioceres Crop Solutions formed Verdeca in 2012 to deploy next-generation soybean traits in all key production regions, beginning in South America and North America. 

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