USDA has announced the completion of a draft Environmental Impact Statement on Enlist corn and soybean traits.

“This is an exciting next step toward bringing Enlist to American farmers,” says Damon Palmer, U.S. commercial leader for Enlist Weed Control System at Dow AgroSciences. “We’ve just concluded another year focused on collaboration and education – all to pave the way for a successful introduction of the technology.”

According to Dow, “University and Dow AgroSciences research trials in 2013 showed exceptional weed control across resistant and susceptible species. Research trials conducted across the Midwest and Mid-South showed 98 to 100 percent control on waterhemp, velvetleaf, ragweeds, palmer amaranth and morningglory.

Dow AgroSciences will recommend a program approach to weed management that includes Enlist Duo and a residual herbicide, such as Sonic in soybeans. Enlist Duo herbicide with Colex-D technology is a proprietary blend of glyphosate and new 2,4-D choline and will be the herbicide for use with Enlist crops when commercialized. 

Farmers who participated in the on-farm grower research plots in 2013 saw similar results, the release said. “All participants rated broadleaf and grass weed control in the highest percentile (90 to 100 percent) and provided positive feedback on herbicide handling.”

Internationally renowned weed scientist and herbicide resistance researcher Stephen Powles, said of the technology, “We are on a trajectory for continued weed resistance and thus major adverse impact on crop productivity. To fight resistance we need herbicide diversity and alternative technologies. Enlist is one such diversity tool. American farmers need these tools now.”

Dow AgroSciences continues to meet with agricultural and non-agricultural stakeholders to exchange information and receive input on Enlist. Specialty crop growers, including grape and tomato growers, learned about the Enlist system and the Enlist Ahead management resource, a program to help farmers succeed while responsibly managing the technology.

Dow AgroSciences also heard from stakeholders closer to home, farm moms. “I wear many hats in my life,” says Emily Mohn from Minnesota. “I’m a mom, an emergency medical technician, a farm wife, a friend. Given my many roles, it gives me peace of mind to know that Dow AgroSciences has extensively researched Enlist, and is helping farmers learn how to manage it properly.”

USDA also announced the opening of a comment period for growers and others to provide input on the Enlist corn and soybean traits as USDA conducts its review.

“Comment periods are a key way for farmers to make their voices heard in the regulatory process,” says Bart Schott, former president, National Corn Growers Association. “I would absolutely encourage growers to tell the USDA that farmers need access to new technology like Enlist. Technology enables us to compete in the global economy.”

To add your comments to a petition that will be submitted to USDA by Dow AgroSciences, go to advancefarming.com\petition.htm.

Pending regulatory approvals, Dow AgroSciences expects to launch Enlist corn and soybeans in 2015, with cotton to follow.