A genetically modified soy seed technology from Germany’s Bayer set to launch soon in Brazil has sparked concern from some farmers who worry that other crops could be impacted by dicamba, a herbicide the biotech product is designed to tolerate.
Widely used in the United States, dicamba has been described by farmers who have applied it as a volatile product that drifts off easily. As such, it may compromise non-tolerant soybeans, growers told Reuters.
“When dicamba lands on plants that haven’t been designed to resist it, those plants struggle,” said Cayron Giacomelli, a farmer and agronomist. “Dicamba is highly harmful to materials other than Xtend,” Giacomelli said.
Bayer makes the “INTACTA 2 XTEND” seed technology, which allows the genetically modified soybeans to be treated with dicamba without being harmed. Dicamba is used to control broadleaf weeds in grain crops, according to Cornell University.
Bayer is planning to launch Xtend in Brazil in the 2021/2022 crop cycle. It said on [September 30] that Xtend combines biotechnology with new crop protection tools to boost farmer yields “to a new level.”
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