If you maintain a zero-tolerance policy for weeds, adopt a program approach that takes advantage of residual herbicides. That process starts before the seed goes into the ground.
“When we’re planting, we want a clean field,” says Steve Snyder, Enlist™ field specialist. “We want to start clean with tillage or a quality burndown program. Once you get behind on weed control, you’re usually behind most of the year.”
He says success comes from timing and using different sites of action.
“It’s much easier to kill a weed that has only one or two growing points,” Snyder explains. “That’s why it’s important to get your preemergence herbicide out prior to or soon after planting. For instance in E3 soybean fields, you can apply Sonic and Surveil herbicides three days after planting.”
Residuals provide 4-6 weeks of control if they get occasional moisture. But, eventually, that protection wears out. That’s where it pays to use layered residuals.
“By layered residuals, we mean adding a residual product to your postemergence application program,” Snyder says. “We like EverpreX, which is an s-metolachlor product. There are other options as well. If you apply a layered residual with an Enlist herbicide during late June or early July, you can expand protection until the crop canopies and weed pressure declines.”
Snyder also contends multiple sites of action offer important near- and long-term benefits. He recommends using at least three or four sites of action per crop. For example, a lot of preemergence herbicides feature two or three sites of action. Then, as part of a postemergence program, Enlist Duo® herbicide offers two more – 2,4-D choline and glyphosate. Or you can get those two additional sites by tank-mixing Enlist One® (2,4-D choline) with glyphosate or Liberty® herbicide (glufosinate). Add a qualified residual to the application of an Enlist™ herbicide, and you get a fifth site of action.
“Different sites of action working on that weed gives us more effective control,” Snyder says. It also helps reduce potential for resistance in the future.
“We got used to relying on one mode of action in the past, and we know the results of that,” Snyder says. “We don’t want that to happen again. We want to be able to use this tool not just one or two years but for many years.”
Snyder urges farmers to take advantage of additional resources.
“We have lots of resources covering everything you need to know about implementing a program approach to weed control,” he says. You can also check out farmer stories and learn more from videos on our channel at YouTube.com.
®™ENLIST E3® soybean technology is jointly developed by Dow AgroSciences LLC and MS Technologies LLC. Liberty® is a registered trademark of BASF.
Farmers who know which nearby fields contain compatible and susceptible crops can maximize the benefits of their herbicide trait technologies, including the Enlist® weed control system. Josh Wilson, Enlist® field specialist, says it’s important to read and understand label requirements and make plans concerning crop placement.
“To be successful with herbicide trait technologies, farmers need to know when and how to apply them,” Wilson says. “They also need to understand which crops will be planted nearby. Implement strategic field planning and plant herbicide-tolerant crops where you can maximize the system by using the herbicides to their best advantage.”
Wilson urges farmers to talk to their neighbors to learn which crops they’ll plant on surrounding acres. Also talk with non-farming neighbors to know where susceptible gardens and ornamental plants are located.
Know the difference
Application of Enlist herbicides near compatible crops is relatively straightforward: Farmers face no wind directional application restrictions with compatible crops, such as soybeans without the Enlist trait, corn, rice, peanuts, sorghum and alfalfa. They can apply Enlist herbicides when wind is blowing toward these crops, because they have a low relative sensitive to 2,4-D.
“Also understand where susceptible crops — especially non-Enlist cotton — are planted,” Wilson says. Susceptible crops, as defined on the Enlist™ herbicide labels, are highly sensitive to exposure to 2,4-D. “Follow the labels for Enlist herbicides and do not spray when a susceptible crop is downwind. Spray only when the wind is blowing away from susceptible crops.”
For a list of susceptible crops, download the labels for Enlist herbicides.
After planting Enlist E3® soybeans or Enlist cotton, check weather conditions before spraying Enlist® herbicides. Time applications to hit weeds when they’re small, actively growing and less than 6 inches tall. Apply when conditions will limit drift potential.
Use multiple sites of action
Remember Enlist cotton and Enlist E3 soybeans are tolerant to three herbicide sites of action: 2,4-D choline, glyphosate and glufosinate – the ingredient in Liberty® herbicide.
“The best weed control will occur when farmers can apply Enlist and Liberty herbicides to the same field,” Wilson says. “They can use a tank mix of Enlist One and Liberty herbicides or make planned sequential passes of Enlist Duo herbicide and Liberty herbicide. Using both technologies not only offers the best weed control potential for the current year, it also helps curb the development of resistant weeds. This prolongs the efficacy of both these herbicides for coming years.”
Make a plan
Planning is essential to making sure herbicide trait technology works this coming year and in future years.
When selecting seed for next spring, farmers need to take into consideration which herbicide trait technologies they want to use and where they want to place those technologies. Knowing the surroundings can help them make better use of these technologies.
Farmers who consider field placement when purchasing seed can help ensure they’ll be able to use the technologies they employ more successfully.
“What we mean by field placement is simply placing or planting herbicide tolerant crops in locations which allow growers to maximize the benefits of that trait technology,” says Dan Puck, Enlist® field specialist.
Listen to a Brownfield radio network interview with Dan Puck.
“This allows them to use the herbicide they want,” Puck says. “Most typically, that's the complementary herbicide that goes along with the trait technology. For instance, with Enlist E3® soybeans, that would mean using Enlist One or Enlist Duo herbicides.”
Where to place Enlist® crops
To take full advantage of all the benefits of the Enlist™ weed control system— including Enlist One® and Enlist Duo® herbicides — farmers need to identify fields posing difficult weed challenges.
“First, we recommend employing the Enlist system on fields which have persistent or hard-to-control weeds as part of a complete program approach,” Puck says. A program approach involves using a burndown treatment and/or preemergence application that includes an effective residual herbicide. Then farmers can follow with Enlist herbicides postemergence.
“Second, be aware: Know where compatible and susceptible crops are located and what sensitive areas might be nearby,” Puck says. “Compatible crops, as the name implies, are crops that coexist with Enlist crops very well. There are no wind direction restrictions when applying Enlist herbicides near such compatible crops. No field separation is needed. Applicators and growers can apply Enlist herbicides right up next to those compatible crops.”
Follow label requirements
When applying any herbicide, it’s important to follow the label. This applies to Enlist™ herbicides. Applicators must check weather conditions before spraying Enlist herbicides and continue to monitor conditions during application.
“Do not spray Enlist herbicides when the wind is blowing toward susceptible crops,” Puck says. “There’s no safe buffer distance when the wind is blowing toward such crops. Wait for conditions that are favorable after wind direction changes.”
To learn more, farmers can talk with their seed dealers or crop protection retailers. They can help with selection of varieties and hybrids featuring the herbicide trait technologies that can address an operation’s weed control issues.
Farmers must consider many factors in placing new technologies on their operations. With strategic field planning, farmers can place herbicide-trait technologies so they can be more successful using the systems’ weed control components.
To get full value from the Enlist™ weed control system in cotton, farmers need to understand what other crops are in the area and know the prevailing wind direction. This helps them place Enlist cotton on acres where they can make successful Enlist herbicide applications according to the label. Farmers who planted Enlist cotton in 2018 were able to follow the label when applying Enlist herbicides, obtaining excellent weed control while avoiding drift issues.
“It’s best to use the Enlist technology in areas that are conducive for on-target application,” says Haley Nabors, new technologies specialist. “Don’t get yourself in a bind by planting these varieties on acres where you know it may be tough to apply the herbicide according to the label – avoid placement in the middle of surrounding adjacent susceptible non-Enlist cotton.”
Nabors suggests growers map out fields where they can make the best use of the Enlist™ weed control system. This may include planting a nonsusceptible crop – such as soybeans, sorghum, rice, peanuts or corn – downwind of Enlist cotton.
“Plant Enlist crops in fields where you have windows of opportunity to apply Enlist herbicides,” Nabors says. “Monitor conditions and spray on days when the weather is cooperating and the herbicides will not drift when you follow the label requirements.”
Whenever possible, growers should avoid planting susceptible crops downwind of Enlist cotton. But if you find yourself in that position later in the season, fully utilize the other herbicide tolerances in Enlist cotton.
“If you’re surrounded by susceptible crops — or the prevailing wind blows toward them — it will be difficult to find weather conditions that allow you to use Enlist herbicides,” she says. “If that’s the case, you can still use glufosinate and glyphosate for effective weed control on those acres.”
When selecting cottonseed with the best genetics, right maturity and needed agronomic traits, consider the value of herbicide traits that support multiple modes of action. All these benefits are available with PhytoGen® W3FE cottonseed featuring the Enlist cotton trait and WideStrike® 3 Insect Protection. These varieties allow growers to protect more yield potential on every acre.
Attention to field locations and some proactive planning can help cotton farmers get the greatest value from their PhytoGen cottonseed with the Enlist trait.
Steve Snyder is an Enlist™ field specialist and serves as the in-field expert for the Enlist weed control system in the upper Midwest, including the Dakotas and Minnesota. His area includes a large number of soybean acres. Steve has more than 30 years of experience in crop protection with Dow AgroSciences and Corteva Agriscience. Snyder and other Enlist field specialists are experts in weed management, application technology and crop research.
Josh Wilson is an Enlist® field specialist and serves as the in-field expert for the Enlist weed control system in South Texas. His area includes a large number of cotton acres on the Gulf Coast. He also has a wealth of experience in soybeans, corn and rice from his work in the Mid-South Delta region. Wilson and other Enlist field specialists are experts in weed management, application technology and crop research.
Dan Puck is an Enlist™ field specialist and serves as the in-field expert for the Enlist weed control system in the eastern Corn Belt. His area includes a large number of corn and soybean acres. He helps provide information and education to farmers, applicators and retailers.
Haley Nabors is a herbicide trait field specialist and serves as the in-field expert for the Enlist weed control system in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and southwestern Kansas. She is a graduate of Oklahoma State University with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics. Her area includes a large number of cotton growers as well as some corn and soybean acres. Herbicide trait field specialists are experts in weed management, application technology and crop research.