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John_Hart_Farm_Press_Cotton_Seed.jpg John Hart

Biotechnology critical to company's new and future varieties

The technology is designed to help farmers battle pests and build yields.

Biotechnology continues to play a key role in the DeKalb, Asgrow and Deltapine product lines, ranging from the new ThryvOn technology for cotton to Acceleron Seed Applied Solutions for corn to Asgrow XtendFlex Soybeans.

In interviews with Farm Press as part of a Bayer Virtual Media Summit, product managers for each of the brands highlighted how the technology is designed to help farmers both battle pests and build yields. The product managers say the technology is designed to give farmers whole-farm solutions to get the most out of the seed they plant.

Jon Riley, Bayer North American cotton launch lead, gave an update on Bayer’s new Bollgard3 ThryvOn cotton with XtendFlex Technology that was unveiled by the company in December at the Deltapine NPE (New Product Evaluator) Summit in New Orleans. ThryvOn will be the cotton industry’s first biotech trait to provide season-long protection against tarnished plant bugs and thrips species.

ThryvOn Technology will be stacked with Bollgard 3 Xtend Flex technology to provide a broad spectrum of insect protection, including protection against bollworm, tobacco budworm, and other common worm pests.

Riley said results in trials show excellent early-season thrips protection, better boll retention in terms of plant bugs while the germplasm “looks  like it’s going to stand up and compare or exceed some of the best germplasm we have in our portfolio.”

Riley said ThryvOn will be commercially available pending regulatory approvals.

“We would like to see a full launch in 2022. Depending on some of the timing of the regulatory approvals, we’re trying to get ready for groundbreakers type trials in 2021, where we can have this on the farm with NPE as well as other growers throughout the Cotton Belt,” Riley said.

“By the time we pair this early-season thrips protection with the mid-season tarnished plant bug protection and have Bollgard 3 with it, the insect protection is going to be fantastic,” Riley said.

As for corn for 2021, more than 70 percent of Bayer’s DeKalb product lineup will be offered with Acceleron Seed Applied Elite Solutions with Enhanced Disease Control, according to Kathleen McKittrick, DeKalb brand manager at Bayer Crop Science.

McKittrick said the technology is designed to offer excellent drought tolerance, a strong root system and excellent grain quality. She said disease tolerance is a key benefit of the technology.

“Acceleron Seed Applied Elite Solutions with Enhanced Disease Control is really going to allow the farmer that piece of mind as you think about early to mid-season disease control and reducing some of those infections to ensure plant health,” she said.

And for soybeans, Asgrow XtendFlex Soybeans should be available to farmers for the 2021 growing season, pending regulatory approval, according to Clint Chaffer, Asgrow brand manager at Bayer Crop Science.

Chaffer said XtendFlex is the largest trait launch in Asgrow’s history and will include 47 new varieties across all relative maturities, designed to give soybeans farmers in all regions access to the technology.

“XtendFlex is based on our exclusive genetics that really provide that yield performance, built around our Roundup Ready to Xtend technology.” Chaffer said. “The other piece with XtendFlex is that soybean farmers are really getting that additional flexibility from the added tolerance to glufosinate,” Chaffer said.

XtendFlex soybeans will be available in relative maturities from zero all the way to Group 7.


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