Wheat growers plagued by jointed goat grass, feral rye and oats, or even Roundup Ready volunteer corn are getting a new tool for dealing with those challenges — two hard red winter wheat varieties with new, patented herbicide-tolerant traits that will be marketed as the CoAxium Wheat Production System.
The new hard red winter wheat varieties with the herbicide-tolerant trait were developed by Colorado State University’s wheat breeding program under the direction of wheat breeder Scott Haley. The Colorado Wheat Research Foundation is one of three major agricultural industrial partners in the new system.
The chemical side partner is Albaugh LLC, a global leader for post-patent agro-chemicals and seed treatments, and the marketing partner is Limagrain Cereal Seeds, a U.S.-based subsidiary of an international agricultural cooperative group created and managed by French farmers.
Albaugh will provide the novel herbicide brands that are part of the CoAxium system, and Limagrain will provide the marketing network.
“I can't tell you how excited we are about this project," says Limagrain Cereal Seeds Chief Operating Officer Frank Curtis. “Grass weed species are a big problem for wheat growers, and we are proud to be part of a team bringing together new genetics, chemistry and growers' experience to give growers a more cost-effective solution to a perennial problem.”
Curtis says he is especially happy that the new wheat production system was developed with a public university and will utilize generic herbicide platforms, making it widely available and cost-effective.
“This seed was publically developed and will be available to everyone,” he says. “And even though there will be a trait fee, we are anticipating that the CoAxium system will still be competitive with the only other herbicide-tolerant wheat on the market, Clearfield.”
Mark Linnebur, president of the Colorado Wheat Research Foundation and a farmer from Byers, Colo., says the new technology is something that Colorado farmers asked for and now own.
“Several years ago, the wheat producers of Colorado approached Colorado State University looking for a new solution to combat the grassy weed problems faced by Colorado wheat growers each year. Not only did it have to work better than what was commercially available, but it also had to be cost-effective. CoAxium will deliver on that vision,” he says.
Chad Shelton, global proprietary products director at Albaugh LLC, North America, says the CoAxium system is a combination of a patented herbicide trait, a new herbicide brand and a strong focus on industry stewardship.
Zach Gaines, Limagrain technical and marketing manager, says the new CoAxium Wheat Production System will eventually be available in all market classes of wheat, but hard red winter wheat is the first background in which it will be available.
Gaines says foundation seed of two varieties will be sold this fall, though limited quantities will be available.
“We think the key points for customers right now are that this is non-GMO technology, that it is more effective and less expensive than the existing Clearfield system, and that it will offer two-gene resistance right out of the gate,” he says.