Seed World

Monsanto Canada to Launch First Biotech Canola Trait Since 1996


Monsanto Canada announced it plans to commercialize TruFlex canola with Roundup Ready Technology in 2019.

TruFlex canola will be Monsanto’s next-generation canola trait and Monsanto’s first new biotech trait in canola since Roundup Ready canola was introduced to Canadian growers in 1996. TruFlex canola will serve as the base platform on which all future Monsanto pipeline traits in canola will be stacked.

“We’ve had discussions with grower groups and conducted focus groups with individual growers about the challenges they face on the farm and the need to bring new traits and genetics to the marketplace to help drive yield,” says Dave Tornberg, North American Traits and Systems Marketing Manager with Monsanto. “One of the best routes to higher yield potential is through effective weed control. TruFlex canola can help make that happen.”

TruFlex canola will be part of an improved canola system designed for a range of growing conditions. It will offer farmers several benefits over our current technology that include:

Improved control of tough weeds – The TruFlex canola system will allow for the control of a broad spectrum of tough-to-control weeds including cleavers, foxtail barley and wild buckwheat. It will also help enable season-long dandelion control.

Flexibility in spray rates and timing – The TruFlex canola system will enable a wider application window providing growers with up to 10-14 more spray days than our current technology. And by enabling flexible application rates, it will help growers choose the right rate for the unique weed challenges they face on their farm.

Higher yield potential through genetics and improved crop safety – New genetics will help deliver higher yield potential and the improved crop system will deliver better weed control and crop safety over Genuity Roundup Ready canola.

“Dandelions, foxtail barley and wild buckwheat are some examples of tough-to-control perennial and annual weeds that will have improved control with the TruFlex™ canola system compared to our current technology,” says David Kelner, Monsanto’s North American canola portfolio manager. “As well, the flexibility in spray rates will allow for control of a much wider spectrum of weeds, with the ability to control new weeds such as yellow foxtail, biennial wormwood and common milkweed.”

TruFlex canola will also allow farmers the option to apply Roundup WeatherMAX in-crop at a rate of 1.33 liters/acre for a single application or 0.67 liters/acre for two applications, controlling 24 new weed species – all with improved crop safety. And with the added benefit of a wider window of application that extends past the six-leaf stage all the way to the first flower, farmers will have more flexibility to manage their in-crop applications.

“The increased flexibility provided by the wider window of application will really appeal to farmers,” says Tornberg. “Farmers are increasingly pressed for time and TruFlex canola will give them anywhere from up to ten days to two weeks more time to spray without causing harm to the crop. It helps them manage their acres more effectively and deal with those stressful weather conditions that result in late spraying that can negatively impact yield.”

Stewarded plot trials and field demonstrations will take place at several locations across Western Canada in 2018 to allow farmers to see the performance of TruFlex canola in the field. Monsanto has built a robust stewardship plan to manage this activity.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada granted full food, feed and environmental safety approval of TruFlex canola in June 2012 and the product has been approved for import in several export markets. Import approval from China is pending and should be granted in the first quarter of 2019.