Bayer Announces First New Herbicide Molecule In 30 Years

Photo courtesy of Bayer.

Are a new type of herbicide on the horizon? Last month, Bayer announced a new herbicide molecule: the first new post-emergence mode of action (MOA) for broad acre weed control in 30 years. (The last new herbicide mode of action was HPPD inhibitor herbicides, according to various sources.) Multiple MOAs for weed control are important for managing herbicide resistance and enabling practices that help to sequester greenhouse gasses.

Discovering new herbicide MOAs has been a challenge for the industry, but, according to Bayer, its “continued investment, leading compound library, and advanced screening capabilities have enabled a breakthrough.” The molecule, which is in “Phase 2” of early development, has demonstrated effective control of key resistant grasses in early research. Discovery of this molecule is being complemented by a discovery-phase program to identify and develop a corresponding biotechnology trait to convey herbicide tolerance and initial approaches are under evaluation. The work demonstrates progress toward Bayer’s long-term commitment to investing approximately 5 billion euros in additional methods to combat weeds over the next decade.

For more of the latest news on pre-emergent herbicide applications, keep an eye out for an article by experts Dr. J.T. Brosnan and G.K. Breeden in the Spring edition of Turf. As leader of the new Weed Diagnostics Center in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Tennessee (UT), Brosnan and his colleague delve into climate curveballs, resistance, and other herbicide challenges they see in 2020. Make sure you get yours here.