Bayer CropScience announces the commercial launch of LibertyLink® soybeans—giving growers a new nonselective herbicide-tolerant system in soybeans for the 2009 season.
LibertyLink soybean varieties featuring top-yielding genetics and built-in tolerance to Ignite® herbicide will be available through more than 85 seed companies. The LibertyLink trait together with Ignite herbicide provides growers an effective tool for weed control and weed resistance management.

Glyphosate-resistant weeds have been confirmed in 19 states, and many states report weed resistance to multiple chemistries including ALS-, PPO- and triazine herbicides. By rotating to LibertyLink soybeans, growers have the benefit of the effective, over-the-top weed control with Ignite, which has a unique, nonselective herbicide mode of action. This rotation will enable growers to effectively manage, or potentially avoid weed resistance, while maintaining current production practices and reaping the associated benefits of herbicide-tolerant systems.

“We are excited to officially announce the commercialization of the LibertyLink trait in the U.S. soybean market,” said Andy Hurst, Product Manager, Herbicide Tolerant Traits and Ignite herbicide at Bayer CropScience LP, during a teleconference last week in Chicago. “Growers will have access to LibertyLink varieties that are competitive with commercial standards and finally will be able to alternate herbicide-tolerant technologies in soybeans.”

For the 2009 season, LibertyLink varieties range in relative maturity from 0.5 to 4.9. That range will broaden quickly for 2010 and beyond.

“We expect there will be enough seed stock to accommodate up to one million acres of LibertyLink soybeans next year,” Hurst added. “In field tests, LibertyLink soybean varieties have demonstrated yields equal to or better than current commercial varieties, and Bayer CropScience is working with key germplasm originators to ensure future varieties are top yielding.”

Prior to today’s announcement, the American Soybean Association (ASA) and Bayer CropScience reached out to key stakeholders and foreign buyers to discuss the benefits of this technology in ensuring future oilseed supplies. LibertyLink soybeans are fully approved for food, feed and cultivation in the United States and Canada. Additionally, import approvals have been obtained in key soybean export markets with biotech approval processes including Australia, China, the European Union, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa and Taiwan.

“We continue to champion the development and market acceptance of new traits and technologies that increase the productivity and sustainability of U.S. soybean farmers,” said ASA President Johnny Dodson, a soybean producer from Halls, Tenn., who chairs ASA’s Biotech Working Group. “The LibertyLink trait is an important tool that enables growers to rotate herbicide-tolerant systems to effectively avoid or manage weed resistance and preserve these technologies for the future of U.S. soybean production.”

LibertyLink with Ignite herbicide is the only nonselective alternative to glyphosate-tolerant systems. LibertyLink soybeans will provide similar over-the-top convenience, while enabling growers to manage or potentially avoid weed resistance.

Ignite herbicide is now labeled for use on all LibertyLink crops, including corn, cotton, canola and new LibertyLink soybeans. Ignite provides fast-acting, postemergent control of more than 120 broadleaf weeds and grasses, including woolly cupgrass, velvetleaf, cocklebur, foxtails, marestail, morningglories, ragweeds, waterhemp, Palmer amaranth and ALS- and glyphosate-resistant weeds.

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience AG, a subsidiary of Bayer AG with annual sales of about EUR 5.8 billion (2007), is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and plant biotechnology. The company offers an outstanding range of products and extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture and for non-agricultural applications. Bayer CropScience has a global workforce of about 17,800 and is represented in more than 120 countries.

Forward-Looking Statements
This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those described by Bayer in published reports. These reports are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

Bayer CropScience, 2 T.W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709. Always read and follow label instructions. Bayer, the Bayer Cross, Ignite, and LibertyLink are registered trademarks of Bayer. For additional product information call toll-free 1-866-88-BAYER (1-866-992-2937) or visit our Web site at www.BayerCropScienceUS.com.
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