FG72 soybeans resistant to an HPPD herbicide

KANSAS CITY, Mo. FG72 soybeans are combining high-yielding elite genetics with a double herbicide-tolerant trait stack developed by MS Technologies in collaboration with Bayer CropScience, it was announced to attendees of the Ag Connect trade show.

The FG72 soybeans will be tolerant to glyphosate active and isoxaflutole, an HPPD–inhibitor active herbicide. The herbicide for use with the FG72 beans will be introduced as Balance Bean by Bayer CropScience and referred to as containing IFT active ingredient. The isoxaflutole is the same weed control already proven for use in corn as part of Corvus and Balance Flexx herbicides from Bayer CropScience. The soybean use will be the first HPPD from Bayer CropScience for use on beans.       

The soybeans and herbicide to use with them in a field situation are both pending approval by the Environmental Protection Agency with the expectation that the system of traits and herbicides will be approved for planting and weed control in 2015. The final soybeans with the FG72 trait will be branded per the different soybean companies selling them. MS Technologies intends to broadly license FG72 soybeans through a number of seed companies and in a wide range of maturities.

Even with glyphosate failing, farmers don't want to change too much in the way they grow soybeans because they want growing beans "to be easy, cheap and flexible, noted Lauren August, MS Technologies, brand manager. And providing soybeans that can be treated with another mode of action herbicide without injury to the crop but in a program similar to a glyphosate alone program is anticipated to be quickly accepted by growers.

"During the past three years, MS Technologies has evaluated more than 40,000 unique elite traits in anticipation of a 2015 release. So, we will have 56 varieties in maturity zones from zero all the way through four, said August. Soon after the launch, it is anticipated that more than 200 different varieties will be available.

Bayer CropScience is touting that Balance Bean, with the HPPD mode of action, will provide grass and broadleaf control without volatility concerns, explained Eric Peters, Bayer CropScience, soy herbicide product manager. It will provide burndown, pre-emergence and postemergence weed control.

"Most of the herbicides out there today have limitations single mode of action, don't have the flexibility of application, some types of crop injury things. All that is taken care of with this system of FG72. The big advantages that isoxaflutole has is that it has long residual and reactivation … With most herbicides, if it is dry for awhile and the herbicide doesn't get activated, the weeds come up and go off to the races. With isoxaflutole, when you get an activating rainfall, it will reactivate in the soil and still control those weeds. This provides better control and a chance for control of a second flush of weeds, Peters said.

Control of glyphosate-resistant weeds and weeds resistant to other classes of herbicide chemistries will be possible. Balance Bean also will be a low use rate herbicide.