The St. Louis-based Monsanto also told dealers at the meeting they expect Bollgard II to be on the market next year. Farther down the road, Monsanto anticipates the next generation of Roundup Ready cotton, company representatives told the dealers.

The new formulation will be called Roundup WeatherMax. It features a different salt formulation than the current Roundup UltraMax, says Stew Sherrick, Monsanto agronomic systems manager. Monsanto received a new patent for the material.

"The biggest difference is the salt," Sherrick says. "It’s based on a potassium salt, which is a smaller ion than IPA, the salt used in many formulations. This allows us to put more glyphosate acid in each gallon."

The new formulation will make the herbicide even more efficient, Sherrick says. "The handling characteristics are very good. Foaming shouldn’t be an issue and it pumps better than Roundup UltraMax."

Roundup WeatherMax is a higher-loaded product, with four pounds acid equivalent per gallon. "With glyphosate herbicides, people often talk about pounds of active ingredient per acre — this (Roundup WeatherMax) changes things and comparisons should be made on an acid equivalent basis," Sherrick says.

While Monsanto is still sorting out the other characteristics of Roundup WeatherMax, the manufacturer is touting the herbicide’s performance under less-than-ideal conditions. "Roundup WeatherMax shines under less-than-ideal conditions," Sherrick says. "It has excellent Roundup Ready crop safety, and efficacy on weeds.

Meanwhile, the company is awaiting approval for Bollgard II. The second-generation of Bollgard will feature better activity on boll worms and army worms, Sherrick says. Seed for Bollgard II will likely be in a limited supply next year.

Monsanto also continues work on the new generation of Roundup Ready Flex, the second-generation of Roundup Ready cotton. With the new trait, producers may be able to treat with Roundup herbicides over-the-top at up to 12 to 14 nodes.

The new Roundup Ready cotton won’t be on the market until 2005 at the earliest, Sherrick says. "It’s more reasonable to anticipate Roundup Ready Flex cotton on the market in 2006.