Monsanto, Bayer to cross-license HT canola traits

Monsanto’s Genuity Roundup Ready canola genetics and Bayer CropScience’s LibertyLink genetics may soon make their way into either company’s canola seed lineups.

The two seed and herbicide companies announced Monday they have agreed to cross-license their canolas’ respective herbicide tolerance (HT) traits on a non-exclusive basis, for commercialization within their respective branded canola seed businesses.

Under the global agreement, Monsanto, whose canola genetics business is based in Winnipeg, will grant Bayer CropScience access to Monsanto’s Genuity Roundup Ready canola trait and Bayer CropScience will grant Monsanto access to its LibertyLink tolerance trait for use in canola.

The agreement, the two companies said, “also includes specified rights to access, on a non-exclusive basis, future herbicide tolerance traits and other agronomic traits that may be introduced by either party for use in canola.”

Further details of the agreement were not disclosed, however.

“LibertyLink and Genuity Roundup Ready are the two leading weed control systems available in the marketplace today and growers will be able to choose our seed with either system, or even both, in about three to four years time,” said Joachim Schneider, head of Bayer’s bioscience business unit.

“This agreement builds on our practice of broadly licensing our technologies to bring value to western Canadian farmers,” said Neil Arbuckle, Monsanto’s canola business development lead, in the two companies’ release Monday.

“Canola oil is one of the healthiest oils available and as such, the Canadian canola industry plays a key role in the global vegetable oil market,” Arbuckle said.

“With this new agreement, Canadian farmers will benefit from greater access to new traits and new technologies that will help ensure canola remains competitive in the global marketplace.”

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