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Dow’s Enlist corn cleared for Canada

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Corn growers in Canada can begin ordering Dow AgroSciences’ genetically modified Enlist corn later this summer, now that China will allow imports of grain grown from corn with the Enlist trait.

Dow Agro announced Wednesday the glyphosate- and 2,4-D-tolerant corn will be commercially available in Canada and the U.S. for use in the 2018 growing season.

Enlist corn traits, which have gone only into company-stewarded fields and demonstration plots in Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba since their approval in Canada in 2012, are expected to see uptake from growers dealing with herbicide-resistant weeds.

“We need this system. We are running into resistant weeds and Enlist Duo is a product that we can use to really smoke them,” John Baitley, who has grown the corn in a company-stewarded program in eastern Ontario’s Prince Edward County, said in a Dow release.

The trait’s full launch in Canada until now has been on hold pending regulatory approvals elsewhere, including the U.S. and other “key import geographies.” Enlist corn and soy weren’t cleared in the U.S. until 2014.

From an export marketing standpoint, if Enlist products were released in Canada before approvals elsewhere were obtained, Canadian growers could be left unable to export their Enlist corn, although most Canadian corn is consumed domestically, either in feed or for ethanol.

The company said Wednesday it’s also “considering options for the 2018 season” for its Enlist Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans and Enlist E3 soybeans, while both are still waiting on final import approvals from China and the European Union.

“The feedback on the performance during our stewarded introduction has been extremely positive, as growers have been very impressed with both the weed control as well as the formulation advancements we have made, reducing drift and volatility,” Dow Agro CEO Tim Hassinger said of Enlist corn in the same release.

The Enlist corn trait will be branded as SmartStax Enlist and PowerCore Enlist in the hybrids available for sale, Dow said, noting it also plans to “outlicense” the PowerCore Enlist trait package.

The Enlist trait’s companion herbicide, a solution of 2,4-D and glyphosate dubbed Enlist Duo, has been approved in Canada since 2013.

The herbicide is “optimized for on-target application” using the company’s proprietary “Colex-D” technology, the company said, adding it “minimizes the potential for physical drift and provides near-zero volatility” as well as “decreased odour.”

As for Enlist-trait soybeans, which also have been approved in Canada since 2012, their production continues this summer in Canada strictly under Dow’s company-stewarded “Field Forward” program.

Under Field Forward, growers get to use the company’s seed trait packages before they’re commercially available, while Dow manages the seed production, including its handling and storage after harvest.

“We look forward to continuing to work with China and their regulatory process for additional trait approvals so we can bring farmers new and much-needed technology,” Hassinger said in Wednesday’s release. — Network

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