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GREEN LIGHT: Recent Chinese import approval of the Enlist trait means Enlist E3 soybeans can finally move forward. Corteva Agriscience spokespeople note that buffers aren’t an issue with Enlist herbicides. Notice tomatoes to the left of soybeans in this Corteva Agriscience plot.

Chinese approval moves Enlist beans, other tech forward

Corteva Agriscience lays out plans for Enlist E3 soybeans and Qrome corn products.

There is no longer a question about “if” Enlist technology for soybeans will get key approvals and can be introduced. Farmers who see these beans in plots or at field days this year will know they can grow them on their own farms in 2020.

It’s been a long road for 2,4-D-tolerant soybeans to come from concept to product to commercial reality. The final piece of the puzzle fell into place when China granted approval for import of Enlist E3 soybeans. China also approved the Qrome insect product in corn, another Corteva Agriscience trait offered through Corteva/Pioneer.

Enlist E3 soybeans
“I am excited to announce one of the largest soybean technology launches ever,” says James Collins Jr., Corteva Agriscience CEO. Proprietary Enlist One and Enlist Duo herbicides can be used with Enlist E3 soybeans.

Enlist E3 soybeans were originally developed by Dow AgroSciences, now part of Corteva Agriscience, and MS Technologies. Dow AgroSciences developed 2,4-D choline, a formulation that can be sprayed over soybeans with nearly zero volatility and minimal drift issues when applicators follow the label.

Enlist corn hybrids have been available commercially since 2017. The missing link for soybeans before Corteva Agriscience could move toward launch was import approval from China. That finally came this month.

Corteva Agriscience spokespeople explain that Enlist E3 soybeans will be offered across all the company’s seed brands in the U.S., Canada and Brazil. In the U.S., look for field days and demonstration plots this summer. The company intends to focus on sales activities for the 2020 growing season during the second half of 2019. Plans are underway to ensure that Enlist E3 soybeans are broadly available to growers in 2020.

Currently, Corteva Agriscience reports it is talking with numerous potential seed trait licensees that might want to include the trait in their seed lineups. Look for those announcements as decisions are made.

Enlist E3 soybeans are tolerant to 2,4-D choline, glyphosate and glufosinate. Enlist Duo is a combination of 2,4-D choline and glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup. Enlist One is 2,4-D choline with greater tankmix flexibility. It can be mixed with qualified glufosinate products. Glufosinate is the active ingredient in Liberty. Tolerance to both glyphosate and glufosinate means growers can apply three postemergence modes of action to help control resistant weeds, and slow development of further weed resistance.

Qrome corn products
China’s approval of the Qrome trait in corn for import impacts Pioneer’s plans to further launch the technology in a positive way. Collins notes that Qrome products feature a novel molecular stack of multiple insect protection traits. The product includes two modes of action to control corn rootworm.

For the record, Qrome products were launched on a limited basis in the western Corn Belt in 2017 and 2018. Spokespeople say limited quantities of Qrome products will be available through Pioneer across expanded Corn Belt geography for 2019.

The big push will come in 2020. Look for Qrome products across a wide range of genetic platforms and maturities in various Corteva seed brands in 2020.

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