Seed World

BASF and Corteva Agriscience Join Forces to Offer Future Weed Control

Corteva Agriscience and BASF recently announced a long-term partnership to create soybean weed control solutions for growers across the globe. The companies will cross-license soybean traits and develop complementary herbicide technologies, allowing both companies to provide innovative soybean weed management solutions.

Corteva and BASF hope to “meet farmers’ demand for tailored weed control options differentiated from those on the market or in development” and both companies expect a “spark in novel product offers with increased access to the global $7.1 billion soybean seeds and traits market, as well as the $5 billion soybean herbicide market,” according to a release.

The first market introduction is set for North America. Additional geographies will follow.

Corteva will join BASF’s licensed proprietary PPO (protoporphyrinogen oxidase) gene with its array of herbicide tolerant traits, such as Corteva’s proprietary 2,4-D choline gene, to create a trait stack. The new stack for soybeans will incorporate resistance to four herbicide modes of action. Jointly, the two companies will offer an effective and flexible option to control problematic weeds.

The herbicide tolerance stack is predicted to be obtainable in all Corteva seed brands. BASF has received the license for the stack from Corteva to utilize in its seed brands. Corteva anticipates the trait stack will also be licensed to additional seed companies.

The trait stack will have tolerance to Corteva and BASF herbicides including BASF’s Liberty, Corteva’s Enlist herbicides and BASF’s Kixor and Tirexor, in addition to BASF’s new PPO inhibiting herbicide currently being developed. The stack will also be tolerant to glyphosate.

“This cooperation is a milestone for us to expand our position in the soybean market,” said Peter Eckes, president R&D and regulatory of BASF. “The trait collaboration with Corteva harnesses each of our strengths and allows both companies to maximize value creation in our respective seed brands and industry-leading herbicide pipeline.”

The collaboration gives Corteva and BASF the chance to recommend each other’s herbicide solutions to offer farmers the tools best suited to manage weeds.

“We are pleased to work with BASF to bring important new innovations to soybean farmers,” said Sam Eathington, executive vice president, chief technology and digital officer at Corteva. “Delivering additional sustainable options for weed control will add value to the Enlist weed control system, the fastest-growing herbicide-tolerant system in soybeans.”

The initial launch of soybean varieties that contain the trait stack is set for the early 2030s as it pends regulator reviews and field-testing completion.

Future Collaborations

Longer-term agreements are in place between the two companies to develop another soybean trait package that encompasses tolerance to “BASF’s Liberty and PPO inhibiting herbicides, Corteva’s Enlist herbicides, glyphosate and another, entirely new herbicide mode of action under development at BASF,” shared the release.

BASF plans to develop a new soybean trait stack that is tolerant to five herbicide groups, including Corteva’s cross-licensed 2,4-D choline gene. The long-term approach from BASF and Corteva will offer competitive alternatives for soybean farmers far into the future, both companies believe.

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