David Hillger

David Hillger, Ph.D., is the herbicide trait field specialist for the eastern Corn Belt. His immense knowledge of weed science and application technology is underscored by his synthetic auxin field research. As an in-field expert for the Enlist weed control system, he works with farmers and retailers to better understand the technology. Hillger has been instrumental in application technology research and training demonstrations for the Enlist system. Herbicide trait field specialists are experts in weed management, application technology and crop research.

  • Northern Corn Belt

  • Soybeans

  • Marestail
    Giant ragweed

  • Program approach to weed control


Learning From Success in Cotton

The Enlist™ weed control system has continued to prove its worth in 2018. Cotton farmers are leading the way, adopting the technology successfully on a wide scale throughout the Cotton Belt. Enlist™ cotton was the first Enlist crop out of the gate, and our experiences with it provide a number of lessons for the full commercialization of Enlist E3™ soybeans.

We’re preparing for the third full commercial year of Enlist cotton and have seen tremendous growth in the successful use of Enlist™ herbicides. In 2018, we sprayed enough Enlist herbicides to cover 1.5 million acres of PhytoGen® W3FE cottonseed, which includes the Enlist trait. Enlist cotton acres tripled vs. 2017.

The Enlist team working in the Corn Belt learns from our counterparts in the South, who have been advising growers, applicators and retailers during these couple of years. We can use their experience to help growers, applicators and retailers succeed with Enlist E3™ soybeans upon full commercialization.

One system, three herbicide tolerances
Like Enlist E3 soybeans, Enlist cotton features three herbicide tolerances: 2,4-D choline, glyphosate and glufosinate. Cotton growers are using Enlist One™ and Enlist Duo® herbicides as cornerstones of a herbicide program approach. Growers who implement weed control programs delivering multiple modes of action not only obtain better weed control during the growing season but also help curb the development of resistant weeds in future years.

Tips for implementing the Enlist system in soybeans
As we look forward to the future full commercialization of Enlist E3 soybeans, here are key takeaways to consider:

  1. Develop and follow a weed resistance management plan. This involves using multiple herbicide modes of action to control tough weeds in the current year while curbing the ability of weeds to develop resistance to effective herbicides. We strongly urge farmers to adopt a program approach that takes advantage of several modes of action. 

  2. Pay attention to field planning as you incorporate this new trait technology. When choosing which fields to plant with varieties containing the Enlist™ trait – or any herbicide trait – consider the surrounding landscape and any nearby susceptible crops or plants. 

  3. Use the Enlist weed control system on areas of your operation that contain glyphosate-resistant weeds. 

  4. Follow the label when applying Enlist™ herbicides. These products contain 2,4-D choline, which offers inherent low volatility, and feature Colex-D® technology for better handling and drift reduction. Always follow all label requirements for successful application. It’s critical to pay attention to wind speed and direction, equipment cleanout and environmental conditions. Farmers tell us when they follow the label, the system works. 

  5. Fully utilize all trait tolerances. If you like glufosinate-tolerant soybeans, Enlist E3 is a natural next step. Farmers can tank-mix Enlist One™ herbicide with glufosinate or take advantage of the convenient blend of Enlist Duo® herbicide to apply 2,4-D choline and glyphosate easily. 

  6. Complete training before it’s time to spray. Farmers, applicators and retailers should find a training opportunity before using the Enlist™ weed control system. Visit Enlist.com to learn more.

You can evaluate new technology options and see how they fit your needs in your fields by better understanding how to use the technologies. The Enlist weed control system truly is different from traditional 2,4-D formulations and other herbicide trait systems.

We are very excited for the opportunities the Enlist weed control system and Enlist E3 soybeans will provide growers once full commercialization is achieved. We’re focused on preparing the industry to succeed with these elite soybean varieties containing the Enlist trait. As we continue to increase Enlist E3 soybean production and expand genetic lines, our entire Enlist team is committed to educating and training users how to incorporate the system confidently and successfully on their farms.


Scout, Identify and Plan to Contain Troublesome and Resistant Weeds in Your Fields

Scouting fields from the combine cab can help you make profitable decisions for next year. One thing farmers can do is take note of weed escapes to update weed management plans. Weeds such as waterhemp, marestail, giant ragweed, Palmer amaranth and others may require a shift in your herbicide program to improve weed control and limit the opportunities for these weeds to develop resistance to effective herbicides.

The Enlist weed control system allows farmers to adopt a program approach that can take advantage of multiple herbicide modes of action to control tough weeds and curb opportunities for resistance.

Residual herbicides can be extremely valuable. They help control weeds early in the season, letting the crop get off to a good start, which helps maximize yield potential. In addition, they set the stage for multiple modes of action. Farmers can follow residual treatments with postemergence applications of Enlist Duo® herbicide and/or Enlist One with qualified tank-mix partners.

Enlist Duo is a convenient combination of 2,4-D choline and glyphosate. Enlist One is a straight-goods 2,4-D choline that offers additional tank-mix flexibility. Farmers who plant Enlist corn also can use FOP herbicides for an additional effective mode of action on unwanted grasses or volunteer corn without the Enlist trait. Meanwhile, Enlist E3 soybeans are tolerant to glufosinate, which can be used in a tank mix with Enlist One herbicide.

It’s important to scout fields regularly all season long and watch for weed escapes. Resistant weeds often appear as patches in fields. Identifying these areas early helps prevent widespread distribution of seeds from the resistant population. If live weeds are growing next to dead weeds and they are of similar size, the surviving weeds may be resistant to the herbicide used in the field.

When you identify resistant weeds, try to control them as quickly as possible, preferably before harvest, when the combine may spread them throughout a larger area of the field. Then develop your herbicide management plan for the next year to apply effective herbicides that can stop these resistant weeds before they gain any momentum.

The Enlist weed control system can be a valuable approach to curbing the spread of resistant weeds.


Avoid Crop Damage: Clean the Sprayer According to the Herbicide Label

Proper sprayer cleanout is vital. Thorough cleanout of the spray tank and nozzles is the first step to minimize the potential for sprayer contamination and damage to susceptible crops. David Hillger, herbicide traits field specialist, tells applicators not to overlook this task. 

“Many smaller, less visible sprayer parts also come in contact with the herbicide,” Hillger says. “Don’t overlook hoses, screens, filters, pumps and dead ends on the boom. These must be thoroughly cleaned, as well.” Also remember to keep other equipment, such as pumps, clean when switching to the next product.

Take time, triple-rinse
Triple-rinsing the sprayer and its components is a must after applying Enlist Duo® or Enlist One herbicide to any crop other than glyphosate-tolerant corn. This helps ensure any remaining Enlist herbicides are removed from the system.

Rinse 1: Be sure to rinse the tank walls. 
1. Drain the spray system (including lines and boom) for no less than five minutes. 
2. Fill the tank with clean water to at least 10 percent of the tank’s total water volume. The larger the sprayer tank, the more water you will need. 
3. Circulate clean water through the system for at least 15 minutes.
4. Spray out the rinse solution through the boom/nozzles. 

Rinse 2: 
1. Completely drain the spray system, including lines and booms. Remember: Spray solution can be hard to drain from low-lying hoses and the dead ends of sprayer booms. Loosen and remove hoses and end caps to drain.
2. Remove and clean all filters and strainers. 
3. Fill the tank with clean water to at least 10 percent of the tank’s total water volume. 
4. If desired, add a commercial tank cleaner. Several products are approved for use with Enlist herbicides.
5. Circulate clean water through the system for at least 15 minutes.
6. Leave the solution in the system for several hours. Overnight is preferable if time allows. 
7. Spray out the rinse solution through the boom/nozzles. 

Rinse 3:
1. Completely drain the spray system, including lines and booms. 
2. Fill the tank with clean water to at least 10 percent of the tank’s total water volume. 
3. Circulate water through the system for at least 15 minutes.
4. Spray out the rinse solution through the boom/nozzles. 
5. Completely drain the spray system, and then remove and clean the nozzle tips and strainers separately.

Single-rinse before spraying glyphosate-resistant corn
A single-rinse is all that is necessary when your next application will be on glyphosate-tolerant corn. Use the steps listed in “Rinse 1” above. 

For more information about the Enlist system, contact your local ag retailer, Dow AgroSciences sales representative or herbicide traits field specialist.