RiceTec, Adama ink pact for herbicide-tolerant hybrid development

FullPage herbicide-tolerant rice hybridsHouston-based RiceTec and Adama Agricultural Solutions, an Israel-based crop protection company, plan to collaborate on development of herbicide-tolerant non-genetically engineered rice hybrids.

The announcement of the FullPage Rice Cropping Solution, as the herbicide-tolerant rice hybrid system will be called, was made Jan. 31 during the 20th Annual Conservation Systems Cotton & Rice Conference in Baton Rouge, La. The agreement covers the development of ALS- and ACCase-tolerant rice hybrids.

Pending regulatory approval, RiceTec hopes to have a limited launch of ALS-tolerant hybrids this fall for planting in 2018, says Brian Ottis, RiceTec solutions development lead.

“It’s going to be a new proprietary trait different than what’s on the market today, and it will be exclusive to RiceTec,” he says.

RiceTec hybrids tolerant to ACCase herbicides are at least three years away.

Both the Clearfield trait, which imparts ALS resistance, and the Provisia trait, which imparts ACCase resistance, are from BASF Corp.

In addition to a limited commercial launch, RiceTec hopes to have several FullPage demonstration fields scattered across the Gulf Coast and Mid-South in 2018. The firm also plans to hold field days so growers can see the system’s performance firsthand.

Herbicide partners

The FullPage system will be paired with two ALS herbicides: Preface and Postscript from Adama.

“The reason we partnered with Adama is they have a strong global footprint, and they operate in some of the same markets we do,” Ottis says. “Particularly in India and South America, they have a strong footprint as well as in the U.S., just not in rice.”

Preface will be an imazethapyr with residual weed control. Postscript, which contains the active ingredient imazamox, has foliar activity and is designed more as a clean-up product or to control escapes later in the season.

The program will be based on two applications of the ALS herbicides as well as overlapping residuals and tankmix partners that have other modes of action.

As with other herbicide-tolerant systems on the market, FullPage will carry a grower stewardship agreement, Ottis says.

Both ALS herbicides are labeled for use in other crops, so Adama is seeking a label extension rather than a new registration. As a result, he says obtaining Environmental Protection Agency regulatory approval typically is easier. He expects that to occur late in the second quarter or first part of the third quarter of 2017.

The FullPage trait is not a GMO, or genetically modified organism, but Canada still requires approval of all plant traits before they can be imported into that country. Canada currently is reviewing the FullPage trait.

RiceTec will still offer Clearfield hybrids in the near term. Moving forward, future hybrid releases will feature the proprietary FullPage technology, Ottis says.

By Vicky Boyd

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