Market News & Headlines >> Restricted Launch for Enlist Corn

Dow AgroSciences will launch commercial sales of its Enlist™ transgenic corn seeds for the 2015 season, but will restrict sales to prevent the variety from entering U.S. domestic or international marketing channels as it awaits import approval from China and other foreign corn buyers.

The agricultural unit of Dow Chemical Co. wants to avoid a repeat of the problems that followed after Syngenta commercialized its Agrisure Viptera (MIR 162) corn without waiting for Chinese import approval. The National Grain and Feed Association has estimated U.S. corn producers had lost more than $1 billion due to trade disruptions caused by China’s rejection of U.S. corn and DDGS shipments due to the presence of MIR 172 corn. Syngenta faces multiple lawsuits as a result of the situation.

Dow AgroSciences said in a press release that it will conduct a “stewarded” introduction of Enlist™ corn seed in the U.S. in 2015. Farmers wanting to plant enlist will have to adhere to a “thorough set of stewardship protocols and requirements” which will be verified by third party audits. Producers must also agree that Enlist™ corn will be fed on farm when harvested. The plan for a restricted launch of the seed evolved after extensive discussions between the company and the grain industry.

Enlist™ corn and soybean seeds are made for use with Dow’s Enlist Duo™ herbicide, a blend of glyphosate and 2,4,D choline, which is also being introduced to the market this year, the company announced on Wednesday.

U.S. regulatory agencies deregulated Enlist™ corn and soybeans in September and registered Enlist™ Duo herbicide in October. Enlist™ soybeans will move a step closer to commercialization in 2015 with select producers being allowed to cultivate the crop on a trial basis.