What is in this article?:
- New herbicide resistant traits coming to cotton fields
- Bio-engineered fibers
- Leading companies have many new trait tools to turn back weed resistance.
- 2,4-D, diacamba, HPPD-inhibitors to be incorporated into biotech cottons.
- New formulations of old products to work with new traits.
There is no pipeline full of new herbicides headed your way to stem the growing problem of weeds resistant to glyphosate or any other herbicide for that matter.
However, representatives of the major chemical companies developing new cotton varieties told growers and others at the Beltwide Cotton Conference in Atlanta that they are developing new varieties resistant to a trio of older herbicides.
The final results will likely be varieties from different companies resistant to an alphabet soup of herbicides; 2, 4-D, dicamba and HPPD-inhibitors.
Two of those, 2, 4-D and dicamba, are bad environmental actors with histories of volatility, unwanted drift and odor issues. Companies are working to re-formulate those products to work with the new herbicide resistant cottons.
Representatives of Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences/Phytogen and Monsanto readily admitted during an industry update that rapidly growing glyphosate-resistant weeds like pigweed, marestail and others are problematic. However, none are abandoning glyphosate-resistance in new varieties.
“There are 300 weeds glyphosate still controls. It is the cornerstone (of weed control) in all crops,” said Monsanto’s Ty Vaughn.
However, Monsanto’s Roundup is no longer the silver bullet it once was. No single mode of action will do the job, Vaughn acknowledged.
“We need to be thinking in different ways to control weeds,” Vaughn said. Specifically weed burn down before planting; after planting/post directed herbicide use; rescue treatments as needed; and a return to residual herbicides.
In fact, Bayer CropScience is getting into the glyphosate-resistant game by offering new FiberMax GlyTol cottons for the first time this season, company representative Walt Mullin said. He called this new proprietary Bayer trait technology an “alternative” to using glyphosate “without obligation of buying a specific brand of glyphosate.” Bayer is targeting the West Texas market with commercial, sizeable quantities of FiberMax 9101GT and FiberMax 9103 GT. There also will be limited supplies of another GlyTol FM 2011GT for the Southwest.
Bayer is going even farther by combining its new generic glyphosate resistance trait with its Liberty Link (Ignite resistance) trait in FiberMax and Stoneville cotton varieties, according to Walt Mullin of Bayer. “Small quantities” of this double stack herbicide resistance package will be available this season in FiberMax FM 9250GL, the first cotton variety available with full tolerance to both glyphosate and Ignite herbicides.
Mullin said Bayer CropScience will also offer varieties in the future with the two herbicide traits, GlyTol and Liberty Link plus Bollgard II.
Bayer is also developing HPPD-inhibitor resistance traits in cotton. This, Mullin said, will allow growers to control pigweed in its later growth states (10 to 12 inches tall). This is several years down the road.
Mullin said Bayer also has either biotech or molecular breeding programs in developing varieties that are nematode resistant, insect resistant as well as having improved fiber and yield enhancement traits.