Verdeca, a joint venture between Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. and Bioceres S.A. has announced that it has received approval in Argentina for its HB4 drought tolerant trait stacked with herbicide tolerant traits in soybeans. The approval allows Verdeca to incorporate tolerance to both glyphosate and glufosinate-ammonium into the trait.
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 HB4-herbicide tolerance trait stack is Verdeca’s newest release from its pipeline of traits developed to benefit soybean producers through quality improvement or stress mitigation.
More than 50 million of the world’s soybean hectares are grown in Argentina and Brazil, a region that has experienced significant drought conditions in recent years. In the 2017-18 season, the HB4 trait would have prevented millions in grain yield drought losses for Argentina’s soybean farmers, and continuing use would reduce risk of losses due to local or regional drought conditions every season.
Verdeca’s HB4 trait has already been approved in Argentina and by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Regulatory submissions are currently under consideration by the U.S. 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. In the meantime, this regulatory approval of the HB4-herbicide tolerance stack will allow broader on-farm testing.
“This novel trait stack will enable soybean growers to protect yields under stressful climatic conditions while allowing low-cost, weed-free production,” said Martin Mariani Ventura, general manager of Verdeca. “The approval of this trait stack is another significant step for the successful commercialization of HB4 technology in Argentina.”
Arcadia Biosciences and Bioceres formed Verdeca in 2012 to deploy next-generation soybean traits in all key production regions, beginning in South America and North America, which together represent nearly 80 percent of the harvested soybean acres globally.