Long-awaited weed control technology gets green light from federal regulatory agencies
The Enlist™ Weed Control System, breakthrough technology to fight resistant and tough weeds, is now approved by federal regulatory authorities. Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered Enlist Duo™ herbicide for use with Enlist corn and soybeans. EPA’s decision is the final step in the federal regulatory process for the Enlist system. The Enlist corn and soybean traits were deregulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Sept. 17, 2014.
The news—a true victory for farmers who have been grappling with hard to control and resistant weeds for many years—comes as U.S. corn and soybean harvest is in full swing. Tens of millions of acres of American farmland are infested with glyphosate-resistant weeds, and the problem has grown worse every year. In fact, resistant weed infestation doubled between 2009 and 2013.
“Harvest is a meaningful time for farmers,” says Rusty Smith, a farmer from Des Arc, Arkansas. “We take stock. We appreciate what we have. We think about what’s behind us, and look ahead for what’s to come. Knowing that Enlist is approved gives me great comfort. We have a very serious Palmer amaranth problem that Enlist will solve. We need tools to address weed resistance problems. Enlist Duo is made for that, and farmers are going to protect this tool now and in the future.”
With regulatory approvals now in place for Enlist corn and soybean traits and Enlist Duo herbicide, Dow AgroSciences will release its 2015 market intentions for Enlist in the coming weeks.
“Our company is uniquely positioned to answer the need for new, innovative weed control technology,” says Tim Hassinger, president, Dow AgroSciences. “With our leading biotech capability and strong chemistry heritage, we designed a breakthrough solution utilizing both traits and herbicides. The Enlist system is an extremely effective tool, and is tailored for the way farmers work today.”
Enlist Duo™ herbicide is a proprietary blend of new 2,4-D choline and glyphosate. By combining two modes of action, Enlist Duo will control and help prevent further development of herbicide-resistant weeds. Enlist Duo herbicide has also been optimized for on-target application utilizing Dow’s proprietary Colex-D™ Technology, which will provide both stewardship and user benefits. Dow has made significant investments in existing and new assets to reliably supply high quality 2.4-D for current market needs, and 2,4-D choline for new Enlist Duo demand.
In its decision to deregulate Enlist corn and soybean traits in mid-September, USDA acknowledged that Enlist will be an effective tool for weed resistance management, saying the technology can “be useful for decades if best management practices are followed,” and said that “allowing growers the choice to use herbicide resistance technology is consistent with USDA’s mission of promoting agriculture production sustainably.”
Regulatory agencies in more than 70 countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Canada, Japan, Australia and the U.S., have authorized the use of 2,4-D using modern regulatory requirements.
“This is a great day for American agriculture,” says Rick DeGroote, a farmer from Parkersburg, Iowa. “Access to tools like Enlist is what keeps American agriculture leading the globe when it comes to productivity and a safe food supply. And, on a personal note, technology that keeps us efficient is what allows me to keep this farm in our family for a fourth generation.”