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Ontario Grain Farmer Magazine is the flagship publication of Grain Farmers of Ontario and a source of information for our province’s grain farmers. 

New traits coming down the pipeline


it’s sometimes difficult to keep up with myriad of new trait developments for your rotation as they become available. To give you some extra food for thought this winter, Ontario Grain Farmer has rounded up the major players to find out what’s new and what’s coming soon.


Monsanto will be introducing the following new products in Canada, pending regulatory approval, in an estimated two to four years. Their dicamba-tolerant soybeans combine a second mode-of-action for herbicide tolerance with Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybean technology. This will offer farmers an effective weed management system through the use of glyphosate, dicamba or combinations of both herbicides, says spokesperson Chris Davison.

In addition, Monsanto’s first-generation drought-tolerant corn is now in the final development phase. In the company’s field trials, it has shown six to ten percent yield improvements in the historically dryland farms of the US Western Great Plains. Second-generation drought-tolerant corn is also being developed.

Lastly, coming soon is Monsanto’s Refuge in a Bag (RIB) — a blended corn seed system that will allow a farmer to plant one bag of seed that contains all the necessary refuge seed for both above-ground and below-ground requirements. 

dow agrosciences
On sale in Canada since spring 2010, are SmartStax™ corn hybrids. Preliminary Dow AgroSciences data from US Corn Belt replicated trials shows that SmartStax™ hybrids are delivering higher whole-farm yield potential, mainly because growers can plant more acres to hybrids with the trait. With SmartStax, growers in the Corn Belt study trials were able to reduce their refuge from the traditional 20 percent down to five percent. Seed companies that offer SmartStax include Brodbeck Seeds, Dairyland Seed, Hyland Seeds, Mycogen Seeds, Pfister Seeds, Renze Seeds and Triumph Seed.

Dow AgroSciences continues to develop herbicide tolerant trait technology, which is expected to be available in Canada for corn in 2012/2013, and for soybeans in 2013/2014. It will partner the proven power of 2,4-D with other leading weed control systems to improve management of hard-to-control and glyphosate-resistant weeds, as well as enhanced convenience.

bayer cropscience
Combining high-yielding genetics without trait-associated yield drag, LibertyLink® soybean varieties are described by Bayer as an excellent alternative to glyphosate-tolerant soybeans. They feature built-in tolerance to Liberty® herbicide, which provides non-selective weed control with a unique mode of action that helps manage herbicide-resistant weeds. Liberty delivers fast, consistent, broad-spectrum grassy and broadleaf weed control and is the only Group 10 herbicide on the market.

LibertyLink soybean varieties are sold by Pride Seeds, Croplan and Prograin. Pride Seeds has sold two of the first varieties (PS 1165 LL and PS 2295 LL) since May 2010. Pride Seeds Product Development & Agricultural Manager Jonathan Klapwyk says field-scale performance in 2009 and 2010 and research results from previous years have been excellent with both varieties. “The LibertyLink soybean system offers growers an alternative weed control system that can be used as part of a herbicide rotation strategy,” says Klapwyk. 

pioneer hi-bred
New products are coming from Pioneer Hi-Bred on both corn and soybean fronts. A simplified refuge management solution for corn growers will be available upon regulatory approval, hopefully in time for 2011 planting. Optimum™ AcreMax™ 1 allows growers to simplify and reduce their corn rootworm refuge by placing the refuge in one integrated, in-the-bag solution. Optimum AcreMax 1 will help maximize field-by-field productivity and yields, says spokesperson Rachel Faust, by increasing the total number of acres protected against key insect pests including European corn borer, corn rootworm and western bean cutworm.

Plenish™ high oleic soybeans are the other upcoming offering from Pioneer Hi-Bred. Commercialization is anticipated in 2012, upon regulatory approval. Plenish high oleic soybean oil provides enhanced consumer benefits as a soy-based transfat solution with 20 percent less saturated fat than commodity soybean oil and enhanced food preparation stability. High oleic soybean oil also provides a sustainable, environmentally-friendly alternative to petroleum-based products for the industrial sector.

syngenta seeds
Available for the 2011 growing season are new corn hybrids from Syngenta Seeds with Agrisure Viptera™ 3111, a powerful broad-spectrum pest control trait. The Agrisure Viptera 3111 trait stack employs multiple modes of action to control 14 different above- and below-ground insects all season long, including black cutworm, Western bean cutworm and corn earworm. It also features glyphosate and glufosinate herbicide tolerance, says spokesperson David Townsend. Agrisure Viptera 3111 outperforms non-Viptera isoline by 14.3 bushels per acre under average corn earworm pressure, and up to 32 bushels per acre under heavy pressure.

Pending receipt of regulatory approvals, Syngenta is expected to release Agrisure® Reduced Refuge products during the next couple of years. Agrisure Viptera 3220 refuge stack features two modes of action against all major above-ground (lepidopteran) corn pests and will provide a reduced refuge of five percent. According to the company, Agrisure Viptera 3222 refuge stack provides all of this, plus unprecedented second-generation rootworm control. •

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