Sugar Producer

May 2020

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 15 of 23

16 Sugar Producer MAY 2020 In the last dozen years or so, countless tons of additional sugar have come from countless sugarbeet fields across North America, thanks to a little piece of genetic technology known as Roundup-Ready sugarbeets. Now, an innovative partnership is using that same basic concept to give growers even more options in weed control. In February, Bayer Crop Science and plant breeding company KWS announced that a new trait that has been in development since 2015 had entered the regulatory phase on its way to commercialization in North America. Once deregulation occurs, plant breeders will be able to add the trait to their breeding efforts and ultimately provide growers with beets tolerant of not only glyphosate, but glufosinate and dicamba as well. It will be the first multiple-herbicide tolerance sugarbeet trait available to growers. Pending regulatory approvals, the technology will be commercialized under the responsibility of KWS and will be available under license to other sugarbeet seed suppliers. Bayer and KWS anticipate that commercial sugarbeet growers will have access to varieties armed with the new technology by the middle of this decade. "Our cooperation combines the strengths of both partners, will expand the toolbox of weed control options and will help sugarbeet growers to more effectively and sustainably manage weeds, including those weeds with herbicide resistant populations," says Doug Rushing, director of industry affairs at Bayer. Mark Schmidt, vice president of sales for Betaseed, has worked closely with the teams at Bayer and KWS on the project. He says fighting weeds' resistance to herbicides was the primary consideration in this particular partnership. "Glyphosate has been an extremely effective herbicide," he says, "but if you become too reliant on one, situations develop where you have resistant weeds. So as Bayer thought through that, they selected glufosinate and dicamba tolerance and incorporated that into one gene construct. That is the basis of this trait." By Tyrell Marchant

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Sugar Producer - May 2020