The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today issued its decision deregulating Dow AgroSciences’ Enlist corn and soybean traits in the United States, concluding one of the most thorough reviews of a biotech trait in history.

The Enlist traits are part of the Enlist Weed Control System, a new trait and herbicide technology that will control herbicide-resistant and tough weeds. USDA’s decision applies to the Enlist corn, Enlist soybean and Enlist E3 soybean traits. Enlist E3 soybeans are being developed through a collaboration between MS Technologies and Dow AgroSciences.

With today’s USDA action, the company now awaits EPA registration of Enlist Duo herbicide, the companion herbicide to the Enlist traits. Approval for Enlist Duo is expected in the near future.

Resistant weeds more than doubled since 2009 and infest approximately 70 million acres of American farmland, challenging farmers’ ability to raise a healthy crop. Farmers in areas with the most severe infestations have had to resort to older, less effective farming practices, compromising their yields and ultimately impacting their ability to contribute to the U.S. food supply and export markets. 

“Enlist will help farmers increase their productivity to meet the growing demand for a safe and affordable food supply,” said Tim Hassinger, president, Dow AgroSciences. “We’ve used the latest science and technology to address problem weeds. Enlist will be a very effective solution and we’re pleased to have this technology one step closer to the farmgate.”

U.S. farmers, anxiously awaiting commercial availability for the Enlist Weed Control System, voiced strong support following the USDA decision.

“Tools like Enlist will help me do my job more efficiently and productively,” says Brooks Hurst, a farmer from Tarkio, Mo. “That benefits Americans in two ways: It puts food on our tables, and contributes to a healthy economy.”

Commercial intentions for Enlist in 2015 will be provided after the EPA has issued its decision on Enlist Duo herbicide.