US crop protection and seed producer Corteva expects to take up to three times longer to break into Brazil’s genetically modified (GM) soya seed market than it did in the USA, Reuters reported the company as saying on 8 October.

In a statement on 24 August, Corteva announced the launch of its genetically modified (GM) Conkesta E3 soyabean in Brazil.

Corteva’s rival, German chemical firm Bayer, has had a virtual monopoly in the country, with a vast network of sales staff and longstanding relationships with farmers, seed developers and manufacturers in Brazil, according to the report.

Corteva, meanwhile, was just establishing its presence in the country, Reuters said.

Brazil’s adoption of GM crops helped it become the world's biggest seller of soyabeans used for livestock feed, according to the report, but weeds and pests have become resistant to the chemicals those crops can withstand.

For this reason, Bayer and Corteva have each set out to convert Brazilian growers to their next-generation GM seed varieties that can tolerate newer herbicides, Reuters wrote.

Bayer and Corteva do not produce seeds in Brazil, the report said, but local genetic improvement companies tailor new varieties for the local market to address local soil and climate conditions – a process that can take years. Seedmakers then mass produce seeds to sell to farmers for planting.

“The adoption of the Enlist system in Brazil will take a little longer than in the United States,” Corteva said in an e-mailed statement to Reuters, due to limited seed quantity in Brazil.

The company had good stocks of Enlist E3 seeds available for US farmers in 2019 when Enlist received US regulatory approvals, according to the report.

Corteva became an independent public company in 2019, and was previously the agriculture division of DowDuPont, which was formed in 2017 by the merger of US chemical giants Dow Chemical and DuPont.

The company captured 35% of the US soya-planted area within three years of launching Enlist, the report said.

However, in Brazil, Corteva estimated it would take five to 10 years to reach that level.

Corteva is also launching a more expensive soybean seed in Brazil called Conkesta E3, according to the Reuters report, although Enlist is its primary focus in the campaign to win market share from Bayer.