According the the ISAAA, In 2013 alone, herbicide tolerant crops occupied 99.4 million hectares, or 57% of the 175.2 million hectares of biotech crops planted globally. For the first 17 years of commercialization (1996 to 2012), benefits from herbicide tolerant crops were valued at $47.7 billion.
Weed control can often be the most expensive cost of a farming operation and lack of an effective weed control program will limit the productivity and quality of crops. The development of herbicide tolerant crops has allowed farmers to more effectively control weeds thereby improving yield and quality. Additionally, herbicide tolerant crops have enabled farmers to more effectively adopt conservation tillage systems. Traditionally, tilling the soil has been used as a weed control method. By providing an alternative system for weed control, more farmers have adopted reduced tillage systems that have numerous positive environmental benefits.
Arcadia’s Herbicide Tolerance program is currently focused on wheat, the largest crop in the world, grown on 217 million hectares globally. Using its research platform, TILLING, Arcadia has developed a non-GM source of tolerance to glyphosate, a widely used non-selective herbicide. Testing results in wheat show tolerance to glyphosate herbicide which may be developed into a commercial glyphosate tolerant wheat variety. This product would provide wheat growers additional tools for weed management and increased productivity.