Vietnam approves new biotech varieties

In late September, the Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) approved five biotech varieties, including two soybean varieties, one corn variety and two alfalfa varieties. These varieties were approved under the the MARD Certificates of Food and Feed Safety.

“Seed companies are always introducing new varieties, including the new line of 2,4-D tolerant soybeans,” says Kim Nill, Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) director of market development. “2,4-D will provide an extra tool to the farmers tool box by allowing them another herbicide rotation and preventing the arising of herbicide-resistance in their fields.”

Pending approval for nearly four years, Vietnam followed the lead of the United States and other countries who have already commercially adopted these technologies.

“Vietnam has always been an important market, especially after we lost so many sales to China. As talks on this issue continued to be delayed, it provided some risk of soybean exports to the country,” Nill says. “Before these approvals, if Vietnam export shipments contained any 2,4-D tolerant soybeans, they could have been disrupted and turned away.”

In 2018, Vietnam was the fourth largest importer of U.S. soybean meal at a value of $304 million. These approvals provide some needed assurances to farmers across the country.

“To preserve the ability to export to Vietnam, there was a point in time where 2,4-D soybeans were not able to be sent to crushing plants with the risk of disrupting those relationships,” says Nill. “Now, barely in time for harvest, Vietnam finally approved these crops and our farmers are now free to deliver anywhere they want and are safe to buy 2,4-D tolerant soybeans to be planted next year. This is a true win for all farmers.”

Here is a full list of newly approved varieties.

Crop Variety Traits
Alfalfa J101 Glyphosate herbicide tolerance
Alfalfa J163 Glyphosate herbicide tolerance
Corn DAS-40278-9 2,4-Dichlorophenozyacetic herbicide tolerance
Soybean DAS-44406-4 2,4-Dichlorophenozyacetic herbicide tolerance, Glufosinate herbicide tolerance
Soybean DAS-44406-6 2,4-Dichlorophenozyacetic herbicide tolerance, Glyphosate herbicide tolerance, Glufosinate herbicide tolerance

Follow The Conversation