DES MOINES -- Pioneer alfalfa customers will have access to flexible, broad-spectrum weed control in their fields with the introduction of Roundup Ready(R) in Pioneer(R) brand alfalfa varieties.

The company initially will be marketing Pioneer variety 54R01 as the first alfalfa product in 2006 under a limited introduction. with additional products to follow.

Incorporated into the lineup of high-yielding proprietary alfalfa products, the Roundup Ready trait provides control of grass and broadleaf with a single glyphosate herbicide, resulting in a simplified, cost-effective weed management program with crop and feed safety. This weed control program can lead to cleaner, higher quality hay.

"Pioneer has a long tradition of providing its customers the broadest package of choices to help their bottom line," says Gene Gengelbach, Pioneer forage products marketing manager. "This marks another step in providing alfalfa producers the latest technology to increase efficiency and improve alfalfa quality."

The Roundup Ready system enables growers to create a wider, more flexible herbicide application window in both seeding and subsequent years of the stand, eliminating crop rotation limitations associated with in-crop use of persistent herbicides. Roundup(R) herbicide can be applied from planting through five days before cutting.

Improved weed control at stand establishment reduces grower risk of stand failure and contributes to better quality forage earlier in the stand life.

The forage produced from alfalfa with the Roundup Ready trait is comparable in composition, nutritional value and safety to that produced from conventional varieties. The single difference is that it is resistant to Roundup herbicide.

At this time, Pioneer alfalfa with the Roundup Ready trait will not be sold outside the United States.

Pioneer encourages growers to practice good stewardship at all times when using herbicides, especially glyphosate herbicides with Roundup Ready crops. Stewardship guidelines are available from local Pioneer sales professionals.

Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc., a subsidiary of DuPont, is a leading source of customized solutions for farmers, livestock producers and grain and oilseed processors. With headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, Pioneer provides access to advanced plant genetics, crop protection solutions and quality crop systems to customers in nearly 70 countries.

SOURCE: Pioneer Hi-Bred news release.