Plant breeding technology company Cibus, LLC, the National Grain Sorghum Producers Foundation and chemical maker Valent USA, have joined forces to develop a herbicide tolerant grain sorghum.
Cibus officials say the collaboration "pioneers a new standard for providing valuable traits to farmers while avoiding the unknown and potentially unintended consequences associated with GMO crops." Cibus's proprietary gene conversion technology – known as Rapid Trait Development System – will be used to develop the new trait in grain sorghum, providing tolerance levels to Valent's leading post emergence grass herbicide, Select Max with Inside Technology.
The partnership is hopeful the technical work will lead to other opportunities globally, since Valent's parent company Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd., is a world-wide entity involved in crop protection and plant enhancement products.
Bruce Maunder, president of the NGSPF, says, "Sorghum producers have needed some new grass control options for quite some time. Once it makes its way into producer fields, it should help increase both yields and profitability." A recent Kansas State University study showed grassy weed control was the number one priority cited by more than 600 grain sorghum producers from across the United States.
NGSPF plans to use revenues derived from the partnership to reinvest in sorghum research and development as part of a long-term program for improving the crop.