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Company cooperation could deliver blow to nematodes

Tom J. Bechman soybean field
BETTER RESISTANCE COMING: Someday soon, soybean varieties with improved nematode resistance could be available through companies cooperating and using Bt technology.
Hi-Tech Farming: Major ag players work together to move biotech trait targeted at nematode resistance forward.

Before this decade ends, you could have a new weapon to fight back against soybean cyst nematode. The goal is to develop next-generation Enlist soybeans with what will be known as the nematode-resistant soybean, or NRS, trait.

Two things make this development noteworthy. First, the NRS trait is a biotech trait. Second, three companies are cooperating on the effort. Corteva Agriscience and MS Technologies licensed the Enlist E3 soybean trait to BASF for development with the NRS trait in BASF germplasm. At the same time, BASF licensed its NRS trait to Corteva and MS Technologies for use in Enlist E3 soybeans.

Developers say the NRS trait will provide unprecedented protection against nematode pests in soybeans, including SCN. Protection against other types of nematodes may prove important outside of North America.

BASF is in its fifth year testing the NRS trait. So far, soybeans with this trait yield 8% more on average than today’s SCN-resistant varieties. Industry standards for resistance today are PI88788 and Peking resistance traits.

Agronomists note that even when this new NRS trait reaches the market, it will still be important to manage SCN with a planned approach. Learn more at corteva.com, mstechseed.com or agriculture.basf.com.

Familiar name returns

Maybe you planted Crow’s Hybrids in the past, or perhaps your father or grandfather did. Crow’s Hybrids launched in Milford, Ill., in 1935. The late Don Funk, grandson of Edward J. Funk, acquired the brand in the 1990s and took it to new heights, as he developed the Channel brand. Channel was later acquired by Monsanto, now Bayer.

Now, Crow’s Seed is back, relaunched by Outward Ag LLC in the eastern Corn Belt. Don Funk’s son Dan handles marketing for Outward Ag. He notes that Outward Ag has reestablished Midwest Seed Genetics in the central and northern Corn Belt and NC+ in the western Corn Belt. Michelle Vigna, leading the effort to relaunch Crow’s, says the goal is delivering the highest-quality seed possible simply and with a customer-first approach. Visit crows-seed.com.

3D attack on pests

Perhaps you grew up with a 3D viewer toy or have attended 3D movies, all of which seem more gimmicky than genuine. 3D BioSciences is so sure its 3D insect control technology is the real thing that the company was named for it. Its newest product, Pest-Kote, uses 3D-IPNS Application Technology, which employs a three-dimensional, immobilizing polymeric net structure that forms on body surfaces and traps insects in contact with the pesticide’s active ingredient.

Pest-Kote is billed as a multipurpose insecticide for use in food handling and processing facilities, and on indoor and outdoor food crops, ornamentals, turf, and even livestock and poultry facilities. Learn more at 3dbiosci.com.

New name in herbicides

Valent announces EPA registration for Maverick herbicide for corn. The company touts its broad-spectrum weed management abilities and the fact that it can be applied from preplant to over up to 18-inch corn as a postemergence application.

Maverick combines three different modes of action from existing herbicide families, which could make it an important tool to help fight weed resistance in tough weeds such as waterhemp, Palmer amaranth and marestail. It contains clopyralid from Group 4, mesotrione from Group 27 and pyroxasulfone from Group 15. See valent.com.

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