S&W Seed Company and ADAMA to provide full-spectrum grass weed control in sorghum

S&W Seed Company, a global agricultural company with a leading position in sorghum through its Sorghum Partners brand, and ADAMA, one of the world’s leading crop protection companies, announced they have entered into a collaboration agreement to bring to market a new weed management system for sorghum growers. This novel solution, to be marketed as DoubleTeam, will consist of S&W’s non-GMO, herbicide-tolerant sorghum hybrids and ADAMA’s best-in-class herbicides. The system is designed to significantly improve weed control and grower profitability in sorghum.

The DoubleTeam system is expected to launch in the United States in spring 2021, subject to receipt of regulatory approvals. Upon commercialization, this new system is expected to be the most reliable, full-spectrum over-the-top grass weed control solution for the sorghum market. Initially, the new DoubleTeam herbicide-tolerant sorghum hybrids will be available exclusively through S&W’s U.S. retail dealer network. S&W plans to license this herbicide tolerance technology to other key sorghum seed companies in the future.

S&W’s CEO Mark Wong, said, "The DoubleTeam system has the potential to revolutionize the sorghum market in the same way other weed control technologies have enhanced yields for crops such as corn, soybeans and cotton. For decades, sorghum farmers have had very few options to control grassy weeds, which has resulted in decreased yields and profitability. We are excited to offer our farmer customers a novel, non-GMO based solution that has the potential to significantly increase crop performance and their bottom line."

In the DoubleTeam system, S&W will initially provide high-performance grain sorghum hybrids carrying its new herbicide tolerance trait technology developed using its advanced research and development platform. S&W is developing, and expects a future launch of, DoubleTeam silage and forage sorghum hybrids. ADAMA will provide best-in-class herbicides and novel formulations that deliver effective, broad-spectrum grass weed control. The collaboration agreement has an initial ten-year duration.  

The market for the DoubleTeam system will be in the U.S. initially, with possible expansion into Southern Hemisphere markets in the coming years. The U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that U.S. grain sorghum production for 2019-2020 will cover 6 million acres annually with strong exports for the grain.  Based on market analysis and management’s evaluation of weed control systems in comparable crops, the launch of the DoubleTeam system is expected to create significant opportunities for both S&W and ADAMA to expand market value and market share.

"Currently there are limited herbicide technologies available on the market for sorghum farmers to combat difficult, unwanted grasses, such as Johnsongrass and field sandbur, leaving farmers with the options of either accepting lower yields or completely abandoning their fields," said S&W Sorghum Product Manager Scott Staggenborg. "The DoubleTeam system helps control these troublesome grasses giving growers the best opportunity to maximize yield even in fields where grassy weeds have historically limited the sorghum crop’s potential."

ADAMA also has a collaboration agreement in place with a technology-based rice company. Jake Brodsgaard, U.S. Chief Executive Officer of ADAMA, commented, "We already introduced the FullPage Rice Cropping Solution and are working to develop and market the Max-Ace Rice Cropping Solution, which integrates ACCase-tolerant rice and ADAMA’s ACCase herbicide, HighCard.  This experience in the development of novel herbicide-tolerant systems will help to enhance teamwork with S&W and successfully develop and launch the DoubleTeam ACCase herbicide-tolerant system in sorghum."

Footnote: HighCard herbicide is not currently registered by the EPA and is not available for sale.