Roundup Ready Flex® on target in USA

18 January, 2006

The development of Roundup Ready Flex, allowing later spraying hence season-long weed control, is well underway in the USA, according to comments from Monsanto and US cotton growers on the latest CSD Web on Wednesday video.

__Dr Anthony Mills, Monsanto’s Technical manager for the Mississippi region, said Monsanto was asking growers to put a layby herbicide on half of their Flex acres and on the other half continue to spray over the top with the new Roundup formulation.

“The flexibility of spraying over the top virtually any time they want to, everybody likes that, but we have still got a ways to go as far as seeing how these varieties perform and seeing how they can compare with our regular Roundup Ready Varieties.

“We have asked growers to spray over the top as late as they need to obtain weed control throughout the growing season. I am hopeful that growers can achieve good weed control through layby time, which so far that’s exactly what we have seen, but even after layby if a grower sees some weed escapes and his crop doesn’t canopy over the row middles like it should, he has that flexibility of coming in and making another application.

“I do see a complete changeover (to RRF), but how long that will take, only time will tell, and it’s going to depend on variety performance. We have to have solid germplasm that performs well and that can compete with our regular Roundup Ready varieties.

“So when more of those varieties are available they would both have the yield characteristics and the fibre quality characteristics you will see a better uptake of Flex with the Bollgard II technology. We have got to have good yield, we have got to have a good fibre package and if we have that, then I think growers will adopt this technology very very well,” Dr Mills said.

__Bill O’Neill a Farm Manager on a cotton farm in the Mississippi the Alandale Planting Company (5500 acres of 95 per cent Bollgard II® cotton), said Roundup Ready Flex® this season is going great.

“ It’s really performing well for us. We are not restricted as to when we can make our overhead applications of Roundup here with the conventional Roundup Ready and stack gene Roundup Ready cotton. We have to spray prior to the 5th leaf. In other words we stop prior to the 5th leaf and now we can go overhead full season long.

“Certainly we will look at how the cotton yields and how it yields compared to the varieties__ that we are planting now and look at that, and of course look at the economics of it as far as the cost of the technology fee and that kind of thing. But with all things considered, I am hoping to have more acres of Flex next year,” Bill O’Neal said.

_CSD extension and development agronomist, Craig McDonald, who recorded the Web on Wednesday video on a visit to the US, said Monsanto has organized a series of field days and field walks this week to familiarize growers with progress with RRF in Australia. Details are listed on the front page of the CSD website.
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_Further Information: _"Craig McDonald":showstaff.asp?staff=43