Ben Hortenstine farms with his dad, two uncles and brother. He grew up around farming and says he enjoys it because there’s always something different to do. The Hortenstines grow corn, soybeans and wheat. They like cutting-edge technology, and that’s why they use the Enlist™ weed control system on their farm. This year, they’re raising Enlist E3® soybeans commercially as well as for seed production.
Ben Hortenstine has done his homework on the Enlist™ weed control system. By that, he means he’s worked with the Enlist™ technology in the fields he calls home. This year, he’s planting Enlist E3™ soybeans both for seed production and on his commercial acres.
Hortenstine, his brother and his two uncles have raised Enlist™ soybeans for seed production for three consecutive years. Their experiences with the different varieties have been predominantly positive. In particular, they’ve had great success controlling tough weeds.
“Enlist Duo is easy to mix and spray,” Hortenstine says. “It stays where it’s sprayed. It does its job and works great.”
While weather has been holding back fieldwork and planting, Hortenstine expects to plant about 800 acres of Enlist E3 soybeans for seed production and cover two-thirds to three-quarters of his remaining soybean acres with Enlist E3 varieties. He plans to be 100% Enlist E3 soybeans in 2020.
He’s not the only grower in his part of Illinois looking at Enlist E3 soybeans.
“Guys I deal with are interested in this technology,” he says. “One of my neighbors says he intends to go heavy on Enlist E3 soybeans, maybe even 100%, next year.”
While Mother Nature still has a say in overall crop performance and yield, Hortenstine has found his weed control system. With a combination of burndown, preemergence residuals and postemergence use of Enlist Duo® herbicide, he’s controlling weeds in his soybean fields.
“Enlist Duo with its combination of 2,4-D choline and glyphosate works,” he says. “That’s why we keep using it in our weed management program.”
For Ben Hortenstine, the 2018 growing season is coming to a very nice close. Both his corn and soybean yield came in at record levels for the farm. His soybean success includes several hundred acres of Enlist E3™ soybeans.
“I was very satisfied with the yield of the Enlist E3 soybeans,” Hortenstine says.
This is the third year the Hortenstines have grown Enlist soybeans on their farm. Ben farms with his brother, Nathan, his father and his uncles. They’ve been using Enlist Duo® herbicide postemergence on Enlist soybeans.
“Enlist worked well again,” Hortenstine says. “I like Enlist Duo because I don’t have to worry about tank mixing. It’s convenient. The 2,4-D choline takes care of the broadleaf weeds, and the glyphosate takes care of grasses.”
The residual herbicides they applied this spring worked well. Spraying at planting, they were able to keep weeds controlled in their Enlist E3™ soybeans until time to apply Enlist Duo. “Last year, it turned dry after we applied residuals, and they didn’t work too well. I used glufosinate early postemergence to keep the weeds down until I applied Enlist Duo.”
Hortenstine says it’s important to have a clean field at harvest.
“To get maximum yield, you have to start clean and stay clean,” he says. “Cleaner fields mean less competition; less competition means more yield.”
He also says fewer weeds through the combine means fewer weed seeds in the field in coming years.
The excellent weed control and ability to keep the herbicide on target are two key benefits Hortenstine sees with the Enlist weed control system.
“Everything stayed on target,” he says. “Enlist Duo didn’t move. I sprayed it next to one of our fields with conventional soybeans, and there was no impact. Enlist Duo is super low volatility. It’s been working for us.”
Seeing is believing. That means concrete evidence is more convincing than words alone. For Illinois farmer Ben Hortenstine, experiencing the Enlist™ weed control system on his farm has made him a believer.
Hortenstine grows corn and soybeans in Ramsey, Illinois, in partnership with his father, two uncles and a brother. They grew Enlist soybeans for seed production last year. He reports his Enlist soybeans were his best-yielding beans.
“At harvest, the fields were clean,” he says. “A clean field is just an easier field to combine. Our Enlist fields were clean as a pin.”
Hortenstine cites three key benefits he saw with the Enlist soybeans: yield, weed control and ease of use.
“We’re looking for herbicide traits that are easy to use, that do the job and do it efficiently and cost-effectively,” he says. “The Enlist system is very easy to use and very cost-effective. Enlist Duo herbicide does a very good job of controlling the weeds that we need to control. We had very, very good control. It was excellent.”
Hortenstine also finds Enlist Duo® herbicide provides some peace of mind concerning drift issues.
“It’s very low volatility and next to zero drift,” he says. “The product stays where it’s applied. I’m very confident when we’re applying Enlist Duo that it’s going to stay where we spray it. We really have no worries about it volatilizing and moving off target.”
All these traits combined makes the Enlist weed control system a great fit on the Hortenstine farm.
“The Enlist weed control system is a good program, a good system,” he says. “You have the yield, you have the weed control and you have the extra support that you need for any questions that you may have about spraying and buffers and so on.”
Seeing is believing, especially when you see the results in your own fields. Hortenstine is planting Enlist™ soybeans for seed production again this year, and he’s adding Enlist corn now that it’s commercially available. He anticipates seeing more concrete proof of the value of the Enlist weed control system.