California-based Arcadia Biosciences Inc (Nasdaq:RKDA) and Bioceres S.A., through their joint venture Verdeca, announced Monday that they had received approval from Argentina for the introduction of HB4 drought-resistant, herbicide-tolerant soybeans that deliver compelling yield increases despite dry spells.
The crop presents clear commercial possibilities in agro-industrial production in the face of climate change. The introduction marks the first step in commercializing the HB4 trait, which is the result of multiple years of research and development, both in Argentina and the United States. The company said that the approval allows Verdeca to incorporate “tolerance to both glyphosate and glufosinate-ammonium into the trait.”
The soybeans provide a real advantage for producers by reducing yield losses, without dispensing with options for weed control.
“This novel trait stack will enable soybean growers to protect yields under stressful climatic conditions while allowing low-cost, weed-free production,” said Verdeca general manager Martin Mariani Ventura.
“The approval of this trait stack is another significant step for the successful commercialization of HB4 technology in Argentina,” added Ventura.
Argentina’s Secretariat of Food and Bioeconomy evaluated the food, feed, environment and commercial impact of the stacked traits and approved them for deregulation contingent upon trade approval by China, the world's biggest importer of soybeans.
The HB4 herbicide-tolerant trait stack is Verdeca’s newest release from its pipeline of traits developed to benefit soybean producers.
Argentina, is the world’s third biggest soy producer, and is the world’s top exporter of soymeal and soy oil.
Positive results for HB4 technology have been demonstrated in numerous field trials in major soybean cultivation regions in South America and the United States. The technology is currently being bred into elite soybean varieties by Verdeca’s seed company partners, as it prepares for the commercial launch of HB4 in 2019, pending regulatory approval in China.
Verdeca’s HB4 trait has already been approved in Argentina and by the US Food & Drug Administration. Regulatory submissions are currently under consideration by the US Department of Agriculture, as well as in China, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Commercial launch of the HB4 trait is contingent upon China’s regulatory approval, which is expected by the end of 2019.
Arcadia Biosciences and Bioceres formed Verdeca as a joint venture in 2012 to provide technologies and traits that boost soybean production in South America and North America, which together represent 80% of the harvested soybean acres globally.
Arcadia Biosciences develops and markets high-value food ingredients and nutritional oils that help meet consumer demand for a healthier diet. The company’s agricultural traits are being developed to enable farmers around the world to be more productive and minimize the impact of agriculture on the environment.
Contact Uttara Choudhury at [email protected]