Novartis Seeds, Inc.-Field Crops is bringing soybean farmers five new NK Brand soybean varieties, in time for 2000 planting.

Each of the varieties, which range in maturity from Mid-Group 0 to Mid-Group II, includes the popular Roundup Ready gene, and all combine high yields with strong disease-resistance packages.

Based on excellent performance in company field trials, Novartis Seeds fast-tracked the release of these varieties, providing, farmers with earlier access to the improved soybean lines. However, despite the early release, Novartis Seeds' Mark Schmidt says that a good quantity of each of the varieties is available.

The five new varieties are the latest products from Novartis Seeds soybean research program--an effort that spans 30 years and has produced more than 247 improved varieties. Like their predecessors, Novartis Seeds anticipates strong demand for the new offerings.

"These varieties share the three characteristics our customers consistently request: top yield potential, Roundup Ready herbicide tolerance and comprehensive disease protection," explains Schmidt, the company's soybean product manager. "Even in challenging growing environments like cool, no-till soils, these varieties have demonstrated their ability to perform."

Key characteristics for the new NK Brand Roundup Ready soybeans include:

--Variety S04-E1, Mid-Group 0; This variety is widely adapted to Northern fields and high pH soils, with very good tolerance to iron deficiency chlorosis in first-year trials. In addition, it resists Phytophthora root rot, with Rps1-c gene and moderate field resistance, and includes moderate resistance to Sclerotinia white mold.

--Variety S09-Y9, Late-Group 0; Excellent emergence makes this soybean a good choice for early planting, even in cooler soils. It provides moderate resistance to Sclerotinia white mold, and resists Phytophthora root rot (Rps1-C gene, plus moderate field resistance).

--Variety Number: S23-03, Early to Mid-Group II; This variety combines strong stress tolerance, with a comprehensive disease package, making it a good choice for tough environments, such as no-till drilling. It has moderate resistance to Sclerotinia white mold and brown stem rot, and resistance to Phytophthora root rot (Rps1-c gene).

--Variety Number S24-K4, Mid-Group II; Superior stress tolerance helps this variety give very high yields, even in drier, more variable growing conditions. It features Rps1-a gene for resistance to Phytophthora root rot.

--Variety S30-P6, Mid-Group II; This variety provides the most complete protection against Phytophthora root rot, with Rps1-k gene. It also resists brown stem rot and includes moderate resistance to SDS.

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