US agricultural biotech company Cibus announced on 7 July that it was teaming up with global soyabean research firm GDM to develop trait products for soyabean farmers.

Cibus president Peter Beetham said the global planted area for soyabeans now exceeded 300M acres (121M ha).

“Soyabeans represent one of the most-produced crops across the world as the global demand for soyabean oil and protein continues to increase,” Cibus said in a press release. “Soyabean farmers need novel crop protection traits that can help control weeds, diseases and pests in cost-effective ways, while also moving toward more sustainable farming practices.

“The need for crop protection trait products that provide farmers with improved agronomic options for soyabean production has never been more pressing than it is today.”

Cibus said a third of worldwide soyabean production was made using GDM genetics.

Headquartered in Argentina, GDM tests over 1.5M soyabean plots a year in 15 countries and has specialised in soya, wheat and maize in the last 40 years.

Cibus said its own gene-editing technology, the Rapid Trait Development System (RTDS), was a new breeding technique that accelerated the processes underlying natural breeding as an efficient and low-cost means to increase crop yields.