New soybean variety features double resistance

Coming to market | Balance GT features resistance to glyphosate and Balance Bean

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Soybean growers are getting a new herbicide tolerant system.

Balance GT soybeans are expected to be on the market in Canada and the United States by mid-decade pending regulatory approval. The system has been decades in the making.

The soybean contains a double herbicide-tolerant trait stack. It is tolerant to glyphosate and Balance Bean, a new isoxaflutole-based herbicide from Bayer CropScience.

It will be the first isoxaflutole-tolerant soybean on the market. Isoxaflutole is the active ingredient in Balance Flexx, a popular corn herbicide.

Lauren August, brand manager with MS Technologies, which developed the soybean, said isoxaflutole kills weeds and grasses.

Balance Bean controls many herbicide-tolerant weeds such as marestail, common ragweed, waterhemp, Palmer amaranth and wooly cupgrass.

“In the south (of the U.S.) they’re in very deep need. They very much need new systems out there and new herbicides,” she said.

Balance Bean also offers growers residual control with reactivation technology that allows farmers to combat weeds from application until canopy closure.

“The idea is then you should be able to apply less,” said August during an interview at the 2014 Commodity Classic conference.

Balance Bean has an ultra-low use rate of two to three fluid ounces per acre, which makes it easier to store and transport than herbicides that require quarts or gallons per acre. It is also easier to clean out a spray tank after application.

Both glyphosate and Balance Bean can be used in burn-down and pre- and post-emergent applications.

The company is confident the new soybean system will perform well in the field.

“Everything has shown yield performance equal to, if not better than, other systems on the market,” said August.

She said the plan is to launch the system at the same time in Canada and the U.S. The product will initially be available in the zero to four maturity categories, which makes it suitable for Western Canada.

The soybean has received full approval in Canada, Australia and New Zealand and cultivation approval in the U.S. It needs approval in key export markets before being commercialized.

The Balance Bean herbicide is going through the approval process in Canada and the U.S. August said that shouldn’t be a complicated process because the active ingredient is used extensively in corn production.

MS Technologies is already seeking regulatory approval on a triple-stack product that will be tolerant to glyphosate, isoxaflutole and glufosinate, the chemistry found in Liberty herbicide.

This isn’t the first time that MS Technologies has partnered with Bayer.

“We actually teamed up with them before with the Liberty Link system. It was very successful,” said August.

“We’ve been working with them ever since.”

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