(Photo: A combine harvesting DONMARIO 50i17 IPRO STS soybean in the north of the La Pampa province)

Buenos Aires, October 15th. Analysts from the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange informed that Argentinian farmers are increasing the use of sulfonylurea-tolerant soybeans (STS) varieties, a non-GMO trait that confers to the crop with tolerance to certain ALS-inhibitor herbicides.

According to the latest report, during the last campaign 2018/19, 23% of the national soybean area was planted with this technology that implies around 4 million hectares. The increasing problem of glyphosate-resistant weeds could be explaining this high rate of technology adoption since in the 2014/15 campaign only 10% of the total area was planted with STS varieties. In fact, the paper explains, in the last campaign, STS planted area increased 43% from the previous one.

“We detect an increasing interesting of the breeding companies to offering the STS technology to the farmers”, founder of RIA Consultores, Javier Preciado Patiño, said to eFarmNewsAr.com. “In fact, this year seven new soybean varieties incorporate this technology, over a total of 20 new varieties”, he added. “We estimate is the highest share since the technology was launched in the country”.

The RIA weekly report summarizes that most of the leading breeding companies in the country are registering soybean varieties with STS technology. For example, Bioceres asked the National Seed Institute (INASE) for the register of its Bioceres 4519 STS R, while the Agriculture Technology National Institute (INTA) is registering its Rosana INTA 3.9 STS and Nidera Seeds its 50×30 iPRO STS, 80×20 IPRO STS and 49×20 IPRO STS, while Don Mario is also registering the HO74134 STS and IS 46 RR STS cultivars.

The STS is present in the soybean cultivars alone with the RR1 technology or joint with the IPRO technology that confers the crop to insect-resistant and incorporates the RR2 trait.

The number of new cultivars with the STS this year is the same that those with IPRO technology.

It is expected that the soybean area in the country is expanded 200K more hectares this season to 17.6 million.

Update: After the publication of this article, the Seed manager from Los Grobo Group, Guillermo Alonso, contacted eFarmNewsArt, to share some points of view about this issue. “I see that STS technology is being incorporated in the elite lines of the breeding companies. Today, no company launches a top variety without offering this technology”, Mr. Alonso started to say. “The STS trait is so useful when the farmer takes a new plot, where he doesn’t know the record of herbicide treatment. In this way, STS is like an insurance against the presence of herbicide residues that could damage the soybean. In fact, I suggest that farmers start the soybean production in rented farms with unknow management with an STS variety”, Alonso added.

As a former official from Nidera Seeds, today Mr. Alonso carries out the seed business of Los Grobo, one of the top multipliers of soybean and wheat in the country. In the seed value chain, the multiplier is a player who takes the founder or original seed from breeding companies and creates volume to supply the farmers.

“I couldn’t give an idea of how much of the national soybean area is planted with STS varieties, but taking into account the use of this technology as insurance, I believe that acreage could be much larger than four million hectares”, he concluded.