Built on Bayer’s Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybean technology, XtendFlex soybeans offers additional tolerance to glufosinate herbicides


Bayer wins approval in EU for its new soybean variety. (Credit: Pixabay/Julio César García.)

Bayer, a German pharma and life sciences giant, has secured regulatory approval from the European Commission for its XtendFlex soybean technology for food, feed, import and processing in the European Union.

With the final key authorisation, Bayer now aims for a full launch of the product in the US and in Canada next year. The company expects to gain a strong foothold to supply to the 20 million soy acres in the US, when the soy season arrives.

Built on its Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybean technology that growers are already familiar with, XtendFlex soybean is claimed to have additional tolerance to glufosinate herbicides.

The new variant also offers growers with the flexibility to manage tough-to-control and resistant weeds.

Bayer crop science North America president Lisa Safarian said: “XtendFlex soybeans will be Bayer’s second major product launch in soybeans in the last 5 years. The upcoming launch in 2021 highlights the strength of the Bayer soybean pipeline, as well as the investment that Bayer continues to make in our soybean portfolio and the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System.

“XtendFlex soybeans are the latest example of Bayer developing innovative products to help farmers meet challenges on their farm.”

Bayer develops supply plan to meet market demand in 2021

Bayer soybean launch lead Lisa Streck said: “We’ve seen great demand for XtendFlex soybeans from our customers. Based on that demand, we’ve developed a supply plan to meet the market demand in 2021, across all maturities, Bayer brands and licensees.

“We expect the launch of XtendFlex to match the launch scale of Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans, which were planted on 20 million acres in their first year of commercial availability. This technology offers outstanding yield potential and weed control flexibility that will benefit soybean farmers across the U.S.”

A few days ago, the company had announced pre-launch trials of its Roma-type tomatoes to help growers address Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV).

The trials, which are expected to begin this month in Mexico, will include two varieties of Roma-type tomato that are claimed to offer Intermediate Resistance (IR) to ToBRFV.

As per the company, the type of IR Bayer seen in these varieties is referred to as ‘symptomless carrier’, where in spite of the virus’ presence, the crop can show little or no symptoms in the leaf and/ or fruit, if the crop is infected by the virus.

First observed in 2014, ToBRFV is spreading rapidly to different world areas. The virus has been impacting tomato plants poses a challenge for the industry as it can be transmitted easily through many vectors such as farming tools and equipment, workers’ hands, plants, water, soil and people.