Bayer CropScience and MS Technologies LLC have achieved a milestone on their path to delivering new solutions for soybean farmers. The dual herbicide tolerance trait Balance GT (Event FG72) has received cultivation approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This step follows approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and approvals already received for cultivation, food and feed uses in Canada, and import in Australia/New Zealand.

This technology confers tolerance to both isoxaflutole (an HPPD inhibitor) and glyphosate herbicides and is intended to be an important tool for weed control and resistance management. The first launch is planned for the US in mid-decade, pending regulatory approvals. Balance GT is owned by MS Technologies and will be commercialized by them.

“The well-known herbicide Balance has been used in corn production successfully for several years. The new Balance GT Soybean Performance System is intended to address the weed management challenges faced by soybean farmers,” said Frank Terhorst, head of the Seeds business unit of Bayer CropScience. “Farmers will benefit from effective cross-spectrum weed control and an excellent weed resistance management tool. We are pleased with the progress we are making on the regulatory front for Balance GT.”

”Resistance to herbicides is a global challenge demanding new solutions. The dual modes of action in Balance GT soybeans are intended to help soybean farmers improve their efficiency and flexibility in weed management,” said Joseph Merschman, president of MS Technologies. “We are well on track to deliver this technology in high-yielding, best-in-class soybean varieties developed by MS Technologies.”

Bayer and MS Technologies have been collaborating since 2007 with new herbicide tolerance technologies for soybeans.

Currently, more than 90 percent of soybeans grown in the US are genetically modified and tolerant to either glyphosate or glufosinate (Liberty) herbicides. Balance GT is expected to be one of the first dual-herbicide tolerant products for soybeans on the market in the U.S. and an important alternative to current solutions.