Seed companies are revolutionizing trait technology and continuing to bring new products to producers to help them address specific challenges that they encounter in the field.
Recently, Bayer CropScience re-ceived registration from the EPA for its TwinLink technology for cotton in the United States. According to the company, this technology combines dual trait (Cry1Ab and Cry2Ae) insect resistance to control lepidopteran pests (caterpillars) and tolerance to glufosinate herbicides such as Liberty, formerly known as Ignite.
“When we bring this product to the market, it will be stacked with GlyTol, Bayer’s glyphosate-tolerant technology,” says Paul Callaghan, global cotton traits manager, Bayer CropScience. “These varieties will contain the first fully tolerant dual herbicide trait package with both glufosinate and gly-phosate tolerance along with built-in insect resistance.”
Callaghan notes that Bayer will be looking at varieties from the Stoneville brand and the FiberMax brand in deciding which ones to bring forward in 2013.
Dr. Scott Stewart, University of Tennessee IPM specialist and coordinator, who has had an opportunity to observe the TwinLink technology, says it will give producers the option of going over the top of their varieties with both glufosinate and glyphosate without killing the crop.
The Tennessee entomologist points out that this is a big issue, especially in areas where there is glyphosate-resistant pigweed.
“TwinLink allows farmers to apply Liberty without risking injury to the crop, and if they have grasses or some other weeds they want to control, farmers can also spray glyphosate since the varieties that will be offered are tolerant to both,” Stewart says. “In addition to providing flexibility, the TwinLink and GlyTol-stacked varieties will take away the worry about drift or accidentally spraying the wrong field with the wrong herbicide.”
From the insect-resistance perspective, Stewart says the two Bt traits in the TwinLink technology are very similar proteins with similar activity to the proteins in Bollgard II.
“All of the Bts provide great control of tobacco budworm,” he says. “And the Bt traits in TwinLink also are going to be similar to Bollgard II in terms of controlling bollworm, fall armyworm, beet armyworm and some of the other caterpillar pests.”
Variety Performance Is Key
Arkansas ginner and cotton producer Larry McClendon says that he sees two main benefits in the TwinLink and GlyTol-stacked varieties that will be offered next year. One is the ability to control resistant pigweed and the other is that the varieties can be interspersed with Roundup Ready crops without having to worry about herbicide injury.
“The new technology makes practical sense for the producer out on the farm,” he says. “In the north Delta where we have such a terrible problem with pigweed, all of the farmers have perked up and are hoping that we will get some relief now.”
McClendon, along with other cotton producers east of Texas, will be participating in on-farm trials using the new TwinLink and GlyTol-stacked technology in 2012.
“Initially, Bayer is addressing the trait capacities – Liberty and glyphosate tolerance and the insect resistance,” McClendon says. “But we will also be looking at how the varieties are going to perform. That’s the key. The technology is there, so Bayer also needs to make sure that the varieties will yield well and have good quality going forward.”
Contact Carroll Smith at (901) 767-4020 or firstname.lastname@example.org.