The following letter comes through the Georgia Soybean Commodity Commission and the American Soybean Association.
April 15, 2016
Good Afternoon ASA Directors, State Presidents and Staff,
Monsanto and many of its licensees are commercializing Roundup Ready 2 Xtend™ (RR2X) soybeans this spring, and farmers may have ordered or taken delivery of RR2X seed. RR2X soybeans are new biotech soybeans that are tolerant to both dicamba and glyphosate herbicides. While RR2X soybeans have been approved for import into China and other major U.S. soy export markets, final approval in the European Union EU is expected soon but still pending as of today. Because RR2X soybeans still lack import approval into the EU (which is an important export market for U.S. soybeans and soybean meal), many grain elevators, soybean processors, and other first purchasers have issued notices stating they will not accept RR2X soybeans this fall.
Given these facts as we approach planting time, Monsanto, Pioneer, and other licensees have announced they are allowing farmers to replace any RR2X soybeans they have ordered with Roundup Ready 2 Yield (RR2Y) or other soybeans that meet grower needs. Farmers should contact their seed dealer/retailer for further information if they wish to pursue this option.
Status of Approval in Major Export Markets
Final approval by the EU Commission has been expected for the past few months, is expected soon and before harvest, but cannot be guaranteed. The American Soybean Association (ASA), U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC), Monsanto, and others have been working with both EU and U.S. Government officials to press for approval of RR2X and other pending new biotech soybean traits. Chinese import approval of RR2X soybeans was obtained in February, and approvals in other major export markets also has been obtained. ASA is continuing to work for final EU approval as soon as possible.
No Dicamba Use Allowed on RR2X Soybeans in the 2016 Growing Season
Growers also should be aware that while RR2X soybeans are tolerant to dicamba and glyphosate herbicides, no dicamba herbicides will be approved for use on RR2X soybeans during the 2016 growing season. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency only recently proposed a draft label for a dicamba product to be used with RR2X soybeans, and this draft label as well as anticipated labels for low-volatility dicamba herbicide formulations will NOT (repeat NOT) be finalized until late this summer or fall. Any use of a dicamba herbicide on RR2X soybeans in-season during 2016 before final labels are approved by EPA and state officials would be a violation of law.
ASA is reviewing the draft label proposed by EPA and will be submitting comments on it to EPA. ASA will be sharing its draft comments with state associations as well as encouraging individual growers to submit comments on the draft label.
Thank you and have a great weekend,
Director, Policy Communication
American Soybean Association