facebook_pixel

Patience Is a Virtue in Technology Development

From Cotton Grower Magazine – June 2014

 

There’s no denying it. Technological advances in seed traits and chemistries have done wonders for production agriculture over the last two decades.

It was only 20 years ago, in 1994, that the first genetically modified crop was commercialized. Since that time the concept has been rapidly adopted, becoming the preferred method of production agriculture in the United States. The end result has been significantly improved yield across the board.

But that doesn’t mean the process of bringing forth a new piece of trait technology is any easier today than it was 20 years ago. In fact, if a new trait were conceived and invented today, representatives at leading trait development companies say it would be at least another decade before farmers could see the product sold commercially. Often, half of those years are spent testing genetic traits in-house, before they are ever submitted for review to agencies like USDA and EPA.

“Initial work is done in our Discovery Groups – phase one and phase two. That takes approximately five years,” says Marianne Malven, Monsanto’s molecular characterization team lead in the regulatory group. “And then regulatory analysis and submissions are averaging approximately six years. So yes, it takes quite a while. And I think 10 years is probably a conservative time frame.”

Through the years, Malven has been heavily involved in product testing and regulation management at Monsanto – most recently with XtendFlex technology. In cotton, the product will be featured in varieties which are tolerant to dicamba, glyphosate and glufosinate. She says her company leaves no stone unturned when testing trait products in-house.

“We’re looking at the gene and the protein,” Malven says. “We’re looking for efficacy, we’re looking for safety. We’re making sure that there is a history of being exposed to this gene or protein previously. It’s making sure that the event that goes on for further testing is going to be safe.”

As of press time, XtendFlex was under review of a USDA environmental impact statement, although company representatives say they expect to receive approval to commercialize the product in time for the 2015 production season.

USDA won’t be the only regulatory organization Monsanto must satisfy with the company’s new technology. Key U.S. trade partners are granted authority to regulate products that may ultimately be consumed within their own borders. This is how American consumers occasionally hear of agriculturally-specific products being held up by regulators in, for instance, Japan.

“For cotton, the critical import countries are Mexico, Canada, Japan and others,” Malven says. “We still make submissions to all countries that have functioning regulatory processes in place. It’s just that we must have approval from those critical import countries before we can launch.”

To ease the regulatory process, companies like Monsanto have on-site staff to handle regulatory requests within the borders of the critical import countries. Oftentimes, these foreign regulatory processes are going on simultaneously with USDA and EPA regulatory reviews.

Recently, researchers like Malven have begun advocating for a uniform set of regulatory requirements from each of the foreign agencies from which they seek approval. The process of satisfying multiple, differing sets of requirement regulations can take a significant toll on time and resources, they say. Genetic researchers know that standardizing international regulations could take some time, however.

“We are speaking with different country regulators to about standardization of regulations across countries,” Malven says. “I don’t know if it will happen, but it would benefit farmers.”

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Crop Inputs Stories
PrecisionAg Vision Conference October 10-12, 2017 Phoenix AZ
Precision Technology

See How Technology Will Revolutionize Global Ag Production

September 20, 2017

The final agenda for the PrecisionAg® Vision Conference delivers high-impact keynotes, a track for specialty crops, and an Arizona field tour.

Precision Technology

Cotton Picking Robots?

August 25, 2017

Can an army of small robots change the way cotton is harvested? Dr. Ed Barnes thinks it’s not only possible, but highly probable.

Weed Control

Dicamba’s Defenders

August 22, 2017

Amid a chorus of complaints, many cotton producers express worry over losing an invaluable tool for weed control.

Precision Technology

AMVAC Grants Trimble Global Distribution Rights for SIMPAS

August 22, 2017

AMVAC and Trimble are finalizing an agreement granting Trimble global distribution rights for AMVAC’s patented SIMPAS prescriptive application equipment.

Precision Technology

Precision Ag Southern Style

August 22, 2017

A customer-first focus helps Agri-AFC’s Amy Winstead keep the company's precision programs coordinated, on target…and growing.

Soybeans

Arkansas Researchers Share Dicamba Volatility Studies

August 11, 2017

Work done by University of Arkansas weed scientists has found that every dicamba formulation tested this spring and summer demonstrated a level of volatility.

Insect Control

Looking Ahead to Cutout and Terminating Insect Treatments

August 4, 2017

Although growers are still treating cotton insects, it’s appropriate to look ahead at proper timing for terminating those treatments.

Around The Gin
Product News

Americot Adds Three to Regional Sales Force

September 20, 2017

Americot, Inc. has added three new regional representatives to the company’s sales force.

Product News

Enlist One Herbicide Added to Enlist System

September 13, 2017

Dow AgroSciences adds a straight-goods 2,4-D choline herbicide for additional tank-mix flexibility in Enlist crops.

Product News

Elevore Herbicide Registered for Burndown Use

August 30, 2017

Dow AgroSciences’ Elevore herbicide has received federal registration for use in fall and spring burndown programs for cotton, soybeans and corn.

Product News

Stoneville Legacy Club Honors Charter Members

August 24, 2017

The new Stoneville Legacy Club honored 129 growers who recorded average yields of 1,794 lbs/A or higher on at least 20 acres with Stoneville cotton varieties.

Product News

Improved Bollworm Management Expected in 2018

August 23, 2017

Southeast Texas cotton farmers should have new tools available in 2018 to better manage bollworms and other potentially damaging pests.

Product News

Maximizer Club Honors Top FiberMax Dryland Growers

August 17, 2017

The FiberMax Maximizer Club honored 121 growers who yielded at least 1,000 lb/A on dryland acres with FiberMax varieties in 2016.

Product News

Monsanto, Valent Expand Roundup Ready PLUS Partnership

August 7, 2017

Monsanto and Valent U.S.A. are expanding their crop protection partnership for the 2018 Roundup Ready PLUS Crop Management Solutions platform.

Product News

New Broadleaf Burndown Option Coming from Dow AgroSciences

July 31, 2017

A new burndown option for tough broadleaf weeds has shown excellent promise in trials across the Mid-South and Midwest.

Latest News
Precision Technology

See How Technology Will Revolutionize Global Ag Production

September 20, 2017

The final agenda for the PrecisionAg® Vision Conference delivers high-impact keynotes, a track for specialty crops, and an Arizona field tour.

Precision Technology

Deere to Acquire Blue River Technology

September 7, 2017

Deere has signed an agreement to acquire Blue River Technology, a leader in applying machine learning to agriculture, for $305 million.

Weed Control

Farmers Impressed with Enlist Duo Performance

August 30, 2017

Growers who have used Enlist Duo herbicide this summer have reported not only exceptional control of their toughest weeds, but are also impressed with how it stays on target.

Precision Technology

Cotton Picking Robots?

August 25, 2017

Can an army of small robots change the way cotton is harvested? Dr. Ed Barnes thinks it’s not only possible, but highly probable.

Weed Control

Dicamba’s Defenders

August 22, 2017

Amid a chorus of complaints, many cotton producers express worry over losing an invaluable tool for weed control.

Precision Technology

AMVAC Grants Trimble Global Distribution Rights for SIMPAS

August 22, 2017

AMVAC and Trimble are finalizing an agreement granting Trimble global distribution rights for AMVAC’s patented SIMPAS prescriptive application equipment.

Precision Technology

Precision Ag Southern Style

August 22, 2017

A customer-first focus helps Agri-AFC’s Amy Winstead keep the company's precision programs coordinated, on target…and growing.

Soybeans

Arkansas Researchers Share Dicamba Volatility Studies

August 11, 2017

Work done by University of Arkansas weed scientists has found that every dicamba formulation tested this spring and summer demonstrated a level of volatility.

Insect Control

Looking Ahead to Cutout and Terminating Insect Treatments

August 4, 2017

Although growers are still treating cotton insects, it’s appropriate to look ahead at proper timing for terminating those treatments.

Insect Control

Early Whitefly Detection Key to Successful Control

July 26, 2017

Whitefly populations are unusually high in Georgia cotton fields this season, making early detection and management essential.

Insect Control

How Aggressive Should Bollworm Treatments Be?

July 18, 2017

Mississippi State entomologists offer bollworm treatment suggestions based on what has been seen in fields to date and the Bt technologies used.

Insect Control

Bollworms Attack Some Texas Cotton, Sorghum

July 14, 2017

Bollworm damage to cotton and grain sorghum is ramping up across parts of Texas.

Weed Control

Post-Direct or Hooded Options for Layby Weed Control

July 6, 2017

Tennessee’s Larry Steckel offers recommendations for post-direct or hooded herbicide applications at layby.

Crop Inputs

Measuring Variety Responsiveness to PGRs

June 29, 2017

Limited information is available on how some new cotton varieties will respond to PGR applications.

Crop Inputs

Determine Proper Timing for PGR Applications

June 27, 2017

Accelerated growth of cotton at squaring means it’s time to set strategies for PGR applications.