Plant breeders working on new herbicide-resistant sugar beet

Save Story
Leer en español

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Two seed companies are working together to develop a new variety of sugar beet that is resistant to three different herbicides.

Monsanto Co. and German plant breeding company KWS Saat want to create a genetically engineered beet that would allow growers to better control weeds, reported The Capital Press ( ).

They plan to hold trials over the next three years and have the sugar beet on the market in eight to 10 years.

Most sugar beets grown in the Snake River region have already been engineered by Monsanto Co. to resist its widely-used Roundup herbicide. KWS signed an agreement with Monsanto this year to develop the new sugar beet variety, which will tolerate the herbicides glyphosate, glufosinate and dicamba.

The two companies also worked together to develop the Roundup Ready sugar beets.

"We're very excited about it. We think it's going to increase grower productivity," KWS scientist Aaron Hummel told growers during the Snake River Sugar Beet Conference earlier this month.

Researchers say the combination of three herbicide-resistant traits will be helpful because weeds resistant to one chemical will still be killed by one of the other two herbicides.

Hummel said the new beet won't be a silver bullet, "but it's a very good solution that will help you have more options to manage glyphosate resistance in weeds."

University of Idaho weed scientist Don Morishita said the new variety is a good idea, but added that some kochia weeds in the area are resistant to both dicamba and glyphosate. The third herbicide, glufosinate, works well in the Midwest but isn't as effective in this region's dry, low-humidity environment, he said.

"I think this idea of stacking traits is a reasonable one but I'm not entirely sold that (dicamba and glufosinate) are the best two traits to stack into sugar beets grown in Idaho and Oregon," he said.


Information from: The Capital Press (Ore.),

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Most recent Business stories

Related topics

The Associated Press


    Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast