New stacked trait canola to take on tough weeds

Bayer’s dual resistant hybrid will be limited to about 
100,000 acres this year with full release in 2017

EDMONTON — Bayer has re-leased a few more details about its new stacked trait hybrid canola variety that combines LibertyLink and Roundup Ready Genius traits in the same seed.

The company officially launched its first InVigor Choice variety, LR250, Jan. 22.

It’s the first canola variety to offer resistance to Liberty, a Group 10 herbicide, and glyphosate.

The dual resistance will give farmers better post-emergent weed control options.

Bayer manager James Humphris, who attended FarmTech to promote the new variety, said supplies will be available in a limited release this year, with a full release expected next year.

“Our focus for year one, because it’s late, will be in the northern areas — northern Alberta and northern Saskatchewan — where predominantly cleavers are a big problem, and Canada thistle,” said Humphris.

“Really, in year one, we’re probably looking at 50 to 100,000 acres. It’s quite a limited launch, so very limited availability of seed.”

Humphris sad Bayer is in the process of contacting growers in target areas to see if they would be interested in trying the new variety.

“We’re just reaching out to growers now to see if this is something they’re interested in … is this something they’d like to try,” he said.

“We think it’s a nice fit for them as an InVigor with an opportunity to be able to spray glyphosate.”

Phil Thomas, an oilseed consultant and senior agronomist with Agri-Trend in Red Deer, said there will likely be significant farmer interest in the new variety.

Growers in the black soil zone who are dealing with persistent weeds have been looking for a canola variety that combines InVigor yields and agronomics with glyphosate resistance.

“From an overall standpoint, there’s not much of an advantage in switching from a LibertyLink variety to a Roundup LibertyLink variety unless  you have some of those hard to control weeds, but if you do, then the Roundup fits in very nicely,” said Thomas.

“It’s also a marketing thing. Bayer is competing with Roundup Ready varieties from other companies, so this puts them back into a niche in Western Canada.”

Thomas said growers in many parts of the Prairies prefer InVigor brands for their high yield potential, good standability and disease resistance packages.

The new variety will combine those agronomic traits with glyphosate resistance.

The package could also win over growers who are concerned about applying Liberty under less than perfect weather conditions within limited application windows.

“We’ve had some problems in the past with Liberty in the province because you want to have nice sunny weather right after you put it on,” said Thomas.

Thomas said many growers who typically choose Roundup resistant varieties may look at InVigor Choice varieties, based on yield potential and dual resistance.

Darcy Sarafinchen, a canola grower from Lavoy, Alta., agreed.

He said the new stacked trait variety will likely generate interest among growers who have persistent weed problems.

Sarafinchen said he plans to try an InVigor Choice variety when a clubroot resistant option becomes available.

Humphris said LR250 yielded 105 percent relative to checks in pre-registration tests and 103 percent of 5440 based on data from 36 test sites.

The variety will be entered into large scale producer trials this year.

Bayer has other stacked trait varieties in the pipeline but will continue to focus most its energy on developing improved LibertyLink products, Humphris said.

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