While many growers struggled with weather issues throughout the 2018 growing season, Grant Strom of Illinois enjoyed a textbook season – at least for herbicide application.
“It was almost an ideal year for us,” Strom says. “We were able to get our residuals down just after planting and came back with our postemergence applications before weeds could get a foothold. Our weed control was very good.”
Strom says the move to earlier planting dates has caused a change in his early-season herbicide program. He explains he was having trouble getting herbicides down before planting. So he opted to apply at planting. This way, he doesn’t have to worry about the planter coming along after the herbicides are down and moving the products out of the rows and away from the crop.
“Two years ago, we started planting and applying herbicides within 24 hours,” Strom says. “Residuals are very important. They keep the field clean until we can get our postemergence herbicides down.”
Strom applies his postemergence herbicides before residual activity can wear off and allow weeds to take off.
“Four inches is the tallest I ever want to see any weed,” he says.
Strom opted for Enlist One® herbicide because he could tank-mix a residual for longer efficacy. He used Enlist One mixed with glyphosate and Warrant herbicide as a residual.
He had perfect application conditions. Temperatures were near 75 degrees with low wind.
“It stayed on target,” he reports. “We didn’t notice any off-target movement. No crops or nearby plants were affected. Handling was easy and I believe is simpler than dicamba. The mixability is a little easier than dicamba.”
Strom says the application controlled his most difficult weeds: Waterhemp, marestail, giant ragweed and some aggressive lambsquarters. Later in the season, he did have a flush of cockleburs, but a second glyphosate application took care of that issue.
The weather held for Strom through the end of the season. His area of Illinois avoided any rain delays. Harvest was timely and his overall yields were above average.
“I like Enlist because it offers a different mode of action,” Strom says. “I want to take another look at the Enlist E3 soybeans genetics and gather more information about yield. I would like to take another look at some varieties in 2019.”
Weed resistance is a growing problem across the country. On Grant Strom’s family farm, they’re dealing with tough waterhemp like many farmers in their area. After testing plants in a few fields, they found all were glyphosate-resistant and half were PPO-resistant.
“The PPO burners provide 50 percent control if the weeds have any size on them at all,” Strom explains. “We’re using dicamba, but we need another postemergence herbicide and trait technology to rotate into our weed management program. Enlist provides us an option to rotate into our program and provide weed control over the top.”
This is the first year the Stroms have experienced the Enlist™ weed control system.
“The Enlist E3 soybeans are looking great even after delayed planting and a dry start,” Strom says. “As for application, conditions were excellent when we sprayed. The label was clear, and we talked to Andy Asbury prior to application to ensure we were set.”
Asbury is part of the team of herbicide trait field specialists supporting the Enlist system. He conducts trainings, provides technical support and helps ensure farmers have successful applications. Strom consulted with him to be certain he used an approved tank mix with the right rates.
“We had no problems with application,” Strom says. “There’s definitely less worry in terms of suspected volatility. I didn’t notice any volatility.”
Strom layered residual products and mixed glyphosate into the tank with Enlist One® herbicide.
“2,4-D is a great weed killer,” Strom says. “Within 30 minutes, you could see the weed control. This is the first time we’ve sprayed 2,4-D over a crop, and we didn’t see any crop injury from Enlist One. Everything looks great driving by the field now.”
The Stroms continue to scout and monitor to see if they’ll need an additional postapplication. They feel confident that the tank mix and second residual layer will provide the control they need to get the beans to canopy.
“We like the option to use glufosinate,” Strom adds. “We’ve never used it before, but it provides value. It is nice to have the option for another mode of action, if needed.”
Waterhemp, Marestail, Giant ragweed