Bayer and KWS Grant First License for Herbicide-Tolerant Sugarbeet to SESVanderHave

Bayer AG and KWS SAAT SE have given access to a long-term license for their new CONVISO SMART cultivation system for sugarbeet to the Belgian sugarbeet seed breeding company SESVanderHave. The technology is based on the breeding of sugarbeet varieties that are tolerant to herbicides in the ALS inhibitor class with broad-spectrum weed control.

CONVISOSMART system will give farmers a new option to make sugarbeet cultivation easier, more flexible in terms of the window for herbicide application and at the same time more environmentally compatible. The technology will initially be available next year primarily to farmers in eastern and northern Europe and will then be launched in other key markets such as Germany, France and Poland from 2019/2020.

“The agreement with SESVanderHave is the first license that KWS and Bayer have granted for this new cultivation system. Further licenses of CONVISO SMART are set to follow,” says Sabine Stolz, Global Segment Manager Soy, Oilseed Rape and Sugar Beet Herbicide at Crop Science. “We want as many breeders for this technology as possible. If major seed providers work together to advance this technology, many farmers will be able to benefit from its advantages. With SESVanderHave, we now have a strong partner with many years of experience in sugarbeet breeding and cultivation, who will be able to make a crucial contribution in this regard.”

“We are happy reaching an agreement with Bayer and KWS providing access to the CONVISO SMART technology,” explains Rob van Tetering, CEO of SESVanderHave. “We shall be introducing our hybrids with CONVISO SMART technology into the market soon. This new technology will allow sugarbeet growers and sugar industry to be more efficient and competitive against sugar cane and other crops.”

Dr. Peter Hofmann, member of the Executive Board of KWS adds: “CONVISO SMART is a real innovation for sugarbeet cultivation allowing weed control with lower herbicide volumes and reduced application frequency. We want to allow all breeders to have access to this technology. Ongoing research efforts are needed to keep sugarbeet at the top of competitiveness among all sweeteners. Good weed resistance management is vital to maintain the benefits of the system in the long term. We will engage all key stakeholders, such as sugarbeet research institutes and advisory services, to ensure the achievement of this goal.”

The new sugarbeet plants have a naturally occurring change in an enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of essential amino acids. During development, sugarbeets with this spontaneously changed enzyme were specifically selected and used for further breeding.

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