Bayer CropScience has canceled plans to launch two new proprietary FiberMax varieties in 2010, a result of delayed regulatory approval from Japan.

Launch of FM 9101 GT and FM 9103 GT, two new glyphosate resistant varieties (GlyTol) based on new germplasm, will be delayed until 2011, said Paul Callaghan, Global Cotton Traits Manager for Bayer CropScience, during the 2010 Southwest Cotton Technology Seminar in San Antonio.

Callaghan said Bayer CropScience had obtained all necessary approvals from the United States, Australia, Canada and Mexico by last December. The Japanese approved food use in January, 2010 and Bayer anticipated feed and environmental approval by March 10, U.S. planting time.

“That process will not be completed by March 10,” Callaghan said. Since Japan is a key trading partner, Bayer determined postponing launch would be in the best interests of the U.S. cotton industry. “We did not want to release a product that could limit market access,” he said.

Callaghan said cotton lint is not an issue but the valuable by-products from cottonseed are regulated.

“We’re disappointed,” he said. “But Bayer made the right decision. Cotton is a global commodity and approvals (for new products) can be complex. We are committed to getting GlyTol to market.”

Callaghan said Bayer announced the decision as early as possible to allow farmers ample time to make seed decisions. “We have enough FM9058 to replace all the GlyTol on order. That was part of the Bayer contingency plan. We will also promote Liberty Link and Liberty Link Bt varieties as replacements.”

He said FM9058 is the No. 1 selling herbicide tolerance only variety in the United States.

Bayer officials said other FiberMax varieties will be in ample supply to replace GlyTol seed.

Launch of GlyTol was heralded as an opportunity to provide cotton farmers an option to Roundup Ready technology. “Growers can use any glyphosate brand they want with GlyTol technology, Bayer officials said.

“We are focused on getting these varieties out there,” Callaghan said. He anticipates more opportunities for field demonstrations in 2010 so more growers can see the new varieties under field conditions.

He said Bayer had an ample supply of both GlyTol varieties for a substantial launch this year and anticipates a full-scale push for 2011.