Jack Lyons of Amarillo, with DuPont, said the company is looking to "supply some post-emerge grass control in sorghum -- something that has been missing for a long time, especially for dryland farmers."

The seed companies are dealing with two traits that are being brought forward in the development phase individually. The ALS trait is going to be called Inzenz and the Assure II trait will be called InzenzAII, and eventually they will be stacked together.

The ALS herbicide will have three active ingredients -- nicosulfuron, familiar to producers in the product Accent; rimsulfuron (Resolve and Steadfast) and metsulfuron, commonly known as Ally, which is now primarily used in wheat, Lyons said.

How these three active ingredients will be mixed together is still being determined, Bean said. His AgriLife Research studies will help determine the final product to be marketed by DuPont.

This year, Bean has two trials out comparing the effectiveness of various combinations of these three active ingredients, along with other herbicides currently labeled for use in sorghum.

He said the results look very promising with good grass control, although it appears application timing will be important. Other trials are being planned for next year in farmer's fields.

Different modes of action

The two classes of herbicides will provide two different modes of action to control grass, Bean said. This will help prevent weed resistance to the herbicides from developing.

The ACCase-tolerant hybrids will be tolerant to those herbicides commonly referred to as "fobs," products like Assure II. That was done with some forethought, Lyons said.

"That will leave us with the 'dims,' products like Select, where we will have a tool to control volunteer sorghum in a crop rotation program or if we develop some resistance," he said.

The big question is when these traits might be available in seed, Bean said.

Lyons said he expected quantities sufficient for larger demonstrations in 2012 and then for commercial production in 2013.