KWS SAAT SE and Monsanto Company announced in October an extension of their partnership that will focus on helping U.S. and Canadian sugarbeet growers manage tough-to-control weeds. The new technology will seek to deliver tolerance to three different herbicides: glyphosate, glufosinate and dicamba. The technology is expected to be commercially available in the middle of the next decade, pending regulatory approvals.
Combining the strengths of two industry leaders in plant breeding and crop management solutions, this announcement marks the second collaboration between the two companies and would represent the next generation of weed control technology in sugarbeets. KWS and Monsanto partnered on the initial introduction of Roundup Ready® Sugarbeets, providing North American farmers with a valuable weed management tool and resulting in the fastest adoption of any biotech crop to date.
Nicolas Wielandt, head of the KWS Sugarbeet Division, stated: “As a leader in sugarbeet development for almost 160 years, KWS is committed to improving productivity by bringing new technologies and innovation to sugarbeet growers. We are happy to expand the toolbox for the farmer as additional solutions for weed control are needed. We expect this technology will increase the efficiency of sugarbeet cultivation and help to secure the competitiveness of the crop. Our intention is to make this technology available for all seed suppliers by license agreements.”
Doug Rushing, Sugarbeet Industry Affairs lead for Monsanto, said: “Since its adoption in 2007, Roundup Ready® Sugarbeets have helped farmers lower inputs and decrease their impact on the environment by reducing the number of times they have to drive over their fields to apply herbicides. Extending this partnership with KWS illustrates how we’re constantly collaborating to help bring new solutions to farmers, and it shows the importance of working with others to be proactive in weed resistance management.”
“We welcome the development of new tools to help sugarbeet growers manage weeds on their farms,” added John Snyder, president of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association. “Our farmers are among the best in the world at producing sugar, and our future depends on the ability to apply new production technology in our cropping systems.”