Monsanto received deregulation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for MON 87460, the company's first-generation drought-tolerant trait for corn.
Drought-tolerant corn is projected to be introduced as part of an overall system that would offer farmers improved genetics, agronomic practices and the drought trait. Monsanto plans to conduct on-farm trials in 2012 to give farmers experience with the product, while generating data to help inform the company's commercial decisions.
"Our drought system is designed to help farmers mitigate the risk of yield loss when experiencing drought stress, primarily in areas of annual drought stress," said Hobart Beeghly, U.S. product management lead. "This spring farmers in the Western Great Plains will have an opportunity to see how the system performs on their farm through on-farm trials."
For the 2012 trials, Monsanto plans to have Genuity VT Triple PRO and Genuity VT Double PRO technology serve as the agronomic trait platform to be used with the drought-tolerant trait. These technologies offer growers excellent insect protection and tolerance to Roundup agricultural herbicides.
The drought-tolerant trait is part of Monsanto's Yield and Stress collaboration in plant biotechnology with Germany-based BASF. The collaboration is aimed at developing higher-yielding crops and crops more tolerant to adverse environmental conditions, such as drought.
"Through this collaboration, BASF is excited to be working on meaningful solutions for growers dealing with drought-stressed environments," said Jonathan Bryant, vice president of business management at BASF Plant Science. "We look forward to future advances from our yield and stress-tolerant pipeline with Monsanto."
The USDA deregulation concludes the U.S. federal regulatory process. Import approvals in key corn import markets with functioning regulatory systems are in progress.