WASHINGTON, Nov. 12, 2014-- Dow AgroSciences announced today it will launch its Enlist Duo herbicide, a blend of glyphosate and new 2,4-D choline, for the 2015 crop season.

Enlist Duo is part of the Enlist Weed Control System, a herbicide-tolerant trait technology for corn and soybeans. The herbicide will be launched in conjunction with a stewarded introduction of Enlist corn and seed production of Enlist soybeans in 2015.

“As resistant weeds have increased, so has grower demand for new solutions. Acres with resistant weeds doubled in the U.S. between 2009 and 2013, now numbering 70 million,” Dow noted in the announcement. “Enlist Duo…will control the toughest weed species in a long application window, protecting farmers’ crops and helping them maximize their yield.”

The herbicide has also been engineered to offer reductions in volatility and off-target movement.

“Enlist Duo will set a new standard in the marketplace for herbicides,” said Damon Palmer, marketing director for Dow AgroSciences’ U.S. Seeds Business.

USDA deregulated Enlist corn and soybeans in September, and EPA registered Enlist Duo herbicide in October. Enlist crops are approved for import in several countries, but notably, not in China. 

In November of last year, China began rejecting shipments of grain from the U.S., claiming they contain trace amounts of genetically engineered corn not approved for import.

To avoid trade disruptions, Dow will conduct a stewarded introduction of Enlist corn seed in the U.S. in 2015. Participating farmers must adhere to a set of stewardship protocols and requirements. For example, isolation areas adjacent to Enlist corn fields will be required, and third-party audits will be conducted. Also, growers must agree that the grain must be used for livestock feed so it doesn’t leave the farm. 

“We will work with the farmers on the stewardship protocol to ensure that the Enlist trait is managed on the farm and away from the export grain channel,” Dow noted.

For Enlist soybeans, Dow will conduct a Field Forward program that provides a limited number of growers an opportunity to grow the crops for Dow before they are commercially available.

“We have had significant discussions with the agricultural community, including the National Corn Growers Association, the American Soybean Association, the grain industry and numerous farmers,” Palmer said. “This plan will enable American farmers to access the Enlist technology while respecting current import approval processes abroad.”

After EPA approved the Enlist herbicide, the Center for Food Safety and Earthjustice filed a lawsuit against the agency in the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of Beyond Pesticides, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Food Safety, Environmental Working Group, the National Family Farm Coalition, and Pesticide Action Network North America.

The groups are challenging the approval under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), arguing that the EPA did not adequately analyze the impacts of 2,4-D on human health. They will also argue that the approval violated the Endangered Species Act, since they say the EPA did not consult with the Fish & Wildlife Service.

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