On Friday morning, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Inspection Service (APHIS) issued a statement of its intent to prepare two environmental impact statements (EIS) regarding the regulatory status of Dicamba-tolerant and 2,4D-tolerant crops.
Here’s Monsanto’s statement:
Monsanto to Cooperate With USDA on EIS for Next-Generation Dicamba Weed-Control Technologies, Remains Focused On Bringing New Benefits to U.S. Farmers (May 10, 2013)
Monsanto said today that it will cooperate with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) as it prepares an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the company’s next-generation dicamba weed management technologies: Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybean and Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton technologies. The company noted that it will work with APHIS to complete this action as soon as possible to ensure that U.S. soybean and cotton farmers can gain access to these important new technologies.
“As APHIS completes the EIS, we’ll use this time to continue to advance the development of these next-generation products – including ensuring farmers gain first-hand experience through our Ground Breakers program throughout 2013 and 2014,” said Lisa Safarian, U.S. Row Crops Lead for Monsanto.
“U.S. farmers tell us that they need these critical technologies to help manage tough-to-control weeds on their farms to maximize yield potential and meet the world’s growing demands,” said Safarian. “While unexpected, we’ll use this timing to broaden the development of high-yielding varieties that we’ll ultimately be able to deliver to the farm.”
This season, the company will continue its ongoing education and stakeholder outreach efforts to support the responsible introduction of these technologies in the coming seasons. This work includes product development, training, education and stewardship programs, as well as broad efforts with academics to support further recommendations of these systems in their local geographies.
Monsanto said that it will work with farmers to support Ground Breakers trials of Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans in the United States beginning this season and next, as planned; as well as support Ground Breakers trials of Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton in the 2014 season.
The Monsanto Ground Breakers program engages farmers in an additional phase of limited on-farm testing under permit conditions prior to the commercialization of new technologies. Information from the Ground Breakers trials provide important on-farm results so growers can be confident that new products have been well tested in real-world growing conditions. Monsanto noted that approximately 100 growers in 16 states will have the opportunity to evaluate the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System on their farms in 2013.
The Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System is a technology designed to help maximize weed control through effective and sustainable weed management options – giving farmers another tool in their toolbox to manage glyphosate-resistant weeds and improve crop yield.