The cotton industry’s next-generation trait technology has been deregulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, giving American cotton farmers access to new tools for managing tough-to-control weeds.  

A limited introduction of Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton is planned for the 2015 planting season through Deltapine as well as select licensees in varieties that fit broadly across the entire cotton belt. Monsanto anticipates the new cotton varieties will be grown on more than half a million acres.

Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton, part of the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System, is tolerant to three different herbicides – dicamba, glyphosate and glufosinate. Glyphosate and glufosinate are currently approved for use as in-crop herbicides, while over-the-top dicamba use is pending regulatory approval.

“We are working very closely with farmers during this year’s limited introduction, and we’re taking active steps through multiple avenues to help ensure that growers and retailers are informed of this technology’s authorized and labeled use,” said Jordan Iverson, cotton traits marketing manager at Monsanto Company. “This new cotton technology provides farmers a tremendous value for weed control by adding tolerance to an additional, approved mode of action through Liberty herbicide. Once authorized, dicamba herbicide will deliver a third mode of action.”

“We’re extremely excited about this introduction and being able to put this technology in the hands of growers,” said Iverson. “Put simply, our mission is to offer tools that help farmers. These new varieties offer high yielding genetics and trusted insect protection, all with some of the most advanced cotton herbicide technology available to help them control tough weeds.”

Since 2013, Monsanto has trained more than 7,500 growers, retail partners and stakeholders on effective and sustainable weed management systems, which includes the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System. The Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System is an integral part of the Roundup Ready PLUS Crop Management Solutions that relies on proactive weed management and application practices including the use of residual herbicides, additional post-emergence herbicides with effective multiple modes of action, and offers incentives to use select herbicides that are endorsed through the Roundup Ready PLUS platform.