By Rhonda Brooks, Farm Journal
What Rachel Rama enthusiastically calls “her baby” doesn’t look like much.
But like any new parent, Rama is pleased – and understandably so.
Rama, the head of small molecules research and development for Bayer Crop Science, and her team have developed a brand spanking new herbicide mode of action (MOA) for use in soybeans.
It represents the first truly new MOA in the herbicide-tolerant pipeline for soybeans in more than 30 years – something the soybean industry and growers have clamored for but which hasn’t been forthcoming until now.
Bayer gave media a glimpse at the performance of the new MOA in a field research plot during a media event at its Jerseyville, Ill., facility earlier this month.
The small plot was full of exactly what soybean growers would hope to see from a new MOA: wilting, browning weeds and grasses.
“In the past two years we have been able to show the proof of concept,” Rama says.
History In The Making
Glyphosate represented the first-generation herbicide that could be sprayed over the top of soybeans, starting in 1996. The upcoming MOA will represent the seventh in the evolution of herbicide tolerant traits.
“Now, it’s up to the biotech team to come up with a trait that tolerates the new baby, so that we can develop the system just like we have for the previous generations,” explained Ty Vaughn, head of plant biotechnology for Bayer.
The new MOA is unnamed for now, and timing for the market introduction is a ways out, unfortunately, for growers eager to use it sooner than later. Look for it to reach a field near you by the end of the decade.