Dow will not sell the seeds without the herbicide. As a product, Enlist Duo (seed + pesticide) competes with a Monsanto product called RoundUp Ready, which is Monsanto seeds + RoundUp.
The purpose of Enlist Duo is to kill superweeds with a stronger dose of pesticide, and provide GMO corn that can tolerate the chemical.
Superweeds evolved from regular weeds that became able to tolerate RoundUp, and they affect a huge part of agriculture in the South and Midwest. One concern is that superweeds will evolve into ‘superduperweeds,’ leading to use of even stronger chemicals in the field. A concern to health is runoff and drift of the chemicals into the foodchain and homes.
Not to mention damage to conventional and organic crops and business because if inevitable drift.
The EPA has approved the use of the Enlist Duo combo with some conditions: no aerial spraying, and a 30 foot in-crop buffer to prevent drift. The approval is based on prior wide use of glyphosate in Roundup, and 2,4d on lawns and golf courses. For the record, 2,4d was half the active ingredient in the notorious agent orange defoliant.
Apparently, the acreage next door is part of field trials during the final weeks before USDA approval for the Dow seeds to become commercially available.
I support local farms consistently and organic as much as possible. This is an eye-opening appearance of big Ag in her small farm community.
Many pros and cons on this product are available in these recent articles from Business week and Forbes.