Choosing his weed control system is a matter of trust for Nebraska soybean producer Jeremy Heitmann.
“We just have a tremendous amount of comfort with the company that’s producing Enlist. We’ve worked with Corteva Agriscience a long time, and they do stuff the right way,” Heitmann says.
Heitmann operates a row crop and cattle feeding operation near Byron, Nebraska, that has been in the family since 1919. Heitmann farms with his father, uncle, cousin and two brothers. Since 2016, they have relied on the Enlist® weed control system to control Palmer amaranth and other tough weeds.
“Palmer amaranth is the toughest thing you’re going to find in our field,” Jeremy Heitmann says. “The product we’re using to handle that is Enlist One herbicide. It literally is the toughest thing we have in our chemical lineup because it’s handling the biggest problem we have right now.”
After a short stint with the dicamba system, the Heitmanns were ready to adopt a new weed control system. On-farm agronomist and brother Corey Heitmann sees several advantages to the Enlist system.
“There are a lot of perks to Enlist,” Corey says. “It’s the ease of use, the broader window of application timing and the fact that the stuff does not get up and move. It stays on target.”
Corey also points to the tank-mix compatibility Enlist One® herbicide offers.
“We can mix multiple modes of action to go after these tough weeds that we struggled to get. Palmer is the big one that we struggle the most with. And then waterhemp and that family of weeds is getting tougher to control,” Corey says. “We strive to get the weeds when they’re little. We’ve built a program that’s all based on that — go early, go small.”
A weed control system that stays on target is also a priority for the Heitmanns.
“Just the fact that Enlist One herbicide doesn’t get up and move is a big issue. There’s a lot of cupping in beans, and with Enlist, we’re not doing that to other people’s fields,” Corey says. “We’re trying to do our part and go to a system that keeps fields nice and clean and allows a person to plant whatever they want to plant without hurting the crop. That’s important.”
Jeremy agrees, saying, “We run our own sprayer and our own rigs. It’s our butts on the line when we’re putting that product out there and we’re the applicator. I’m not comfortable at all with the dicamba label, not to mention the way the product gets up and moves around.
“Enlist was really a no-brainer for us. There’s no question that Enlist is the easiest system to use. It’s the easiest way to customize weed control. It’s that flexibility and usability that really drives what we’re doing.”
Both Heitmanns say their relationships with their retailers and the trust they put into them are major factors in variety selection. In 2021, they planted Brevant® and NK brand Enlist E3® soybeans with maturity groups ranging from 2.8 to 3.5.
“We trust their advice. We trust what they’re seeing out there and the recommendations they make,” Jeremy says. “You’ve got all of us sitting around the table, including Corey’s insights from walking fields all summer, and the retailers have another set of test plot data. It’s really a sharing of thoughts and information.”
The Heitmanns rely on their retailers and seed company representatives when considering new soybean varieties for their farm. Local retailers’ variety trials, as well as university trials, also factor into their decisions.
University and company trials get them part of the way. The Heitmanns also plant their own test plots, and full field trials, to explore new varieties. Performance is still the most critical factor in variety selection, no matter the company logo emblazoned on the bag.
“The biggest things that Brevant [seeds] brings to the table is performance and the service and relationship that we have with them,” Jeremy says. “And we’ll be with Enlist for the foreseeable future. Problem weeds, like Palmer amaranth, are not going away. We need the tools to deal with them.
“And again, we have faith in the company. We have faith in the people who are selling it to us. We were waiting for Enlist. We trust the company and we trust what they are telling us.”
The transgenic soybean event in Enlist E3® soybeans is jointly developed and owned by Corteva Agriscience LLC and MS Technologies, L.L.C. Enlist Duo® and Enlist One® herbicides are not registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your area. Enlist Duo and Enlist One are the only 2,4-D products authorized for use with Enlist® crops. Consult Enlist herbicide labels for weed species controlled. Always read and follow label directions.