Last year’s success with Enlist E3® soybeans convinced most of Kyle Schultz’s customers to plant the technology this spring. So far, that decision is paying off in a big way. Schultz, a Hoegemeyer Seed sales rep in northwest Iowa, says the future looks brighter than ever for Enlist E3 varieties.
“Customer demand was outstanding,” he reports. “About two-thirds of my soybean sales were Enlist E3.”
Count Schultz among those who opted for the Enlist™ weed control system this spring.
“I’m 100 percent Enlist this year,” he says. “I planted four varieties ranging from 2.2 to 2.8 in maturity.”
Hoegemeyer provided good supplies and plenty of options, Schultz says. He had access to several Enlist E3 varieties.
And, unlike recent years, farmers in his area got crops planted plenty early this year.
“We were planting corn on April 16 and went nonstop until we were done,” he says. “Guys were even getting soybeans planted in mid-April.” A cold spell caused some frost damage, but as of late June the only real issue was the need for some rain.
The success of Enlist E3 soybeans comes as farmers in the area have been switching from dicamba-tolerant varieties, Schultz says.
“Even before the dicamba registration ruling this June, I liked Enlist better,” he says. “When we used dicamba, we had to be very cautious. Plus Enlist gives us a wider application window if the weather doesn’t cooperate.”
Schultz says Enlist herbicides are “bean friendly.” And he’s seen no yield drag from the Hoegemeyer varieties featuring the trait.
“If we all used the Enlist system, we’d all have better yields because we’d have no dicamba damage,” he says. Schultz notes some farmers in his area reported dicamba drift onto their non-dicamba soybeans.
“The early heat and wind seemed to move it farther this year,” he says.
While a good number of farmers in his area still like Liberty® herbicide, Schultz sees the need to use several sites of action for the best weed control and for long-term stewardship of effective herbicides.
“Guys who are using Liberty herbicide are starting to think about switching it up and adding Enlist herbicides to their programs,” he says. “We need to be better stewards to prevent weeds from becoming resistant. Our toolbox is a lot bigger with the Enlist technology.”
Neighbors showed more than passing interest in how Enlist E3® soybeans were progressing in Kyle Schultz’s test plot and field. They were impressed with the clean rows. They liked what they’d heard about on-target application. But they weren’t ready to commit until they saw the yield.
When Schultz – a Hoegemeyer Hybrids seed dealer and farmer – combined his soybeans, he had the information he needed. Despite a rough year weather-wise, the Enlist E3 soybeans averaged above 60 bushels per acre in 2019.
“We were pleasantly surprised that they yielded in the low 60s,” Schultz says. “That was definitely on par with other varieties in our area. Soybean yields ranged from the upper 50s to the mid-60s even in a tough year.”
How did his neighbors react?
“I’ve only had one customer so far who has NOT bought Enlist E3 soybeans for 2020,” he said late in 2019. “They’ve been well received. We’ve been able to sell the heck out of them.”
Sales are so strong that Schultz is adding a bin to keep seed on hand. Will he have enough to serve his customers?
“We have no inkling that supplies will be an issue,” he says. “They’re excited to see what these varieties will do on their own acres.”
It’s unanimous: Farmers don’t like weeds. But Kyle Schultz of Iowa sees weed control as more than the potential for higher yield. He sees it as a reflection on his farming talents.
“I hate a dirty field,” Schultz says. “My nature is, when I see a weed, I go get it.”
Ask him why a clean field is important, and he explains that it influences neighboring farmers and landowners.
“I want them to see that I’m taking care of my land,” he says. “I want landowners to want me farming their land.”
Schultz – like most of his neighbors – is battling marestail and waterhemp. Lately, marestail has been particularly stubborn.
“A couple of years ago, I sprayed a field with glyphosate four times and the weeds kept coming back,” he says. “We need better postemergence herbicide options.”
This year, Schultz is trying Enlist E3® soybeans for the first time on his farm.
“I like the modes of action and the potential for improved weed control,” he says. “We need it.”
Schultz dodged much of the wet weather many other folks experienced this spring. He was able to get corn and soybeans planted by May 14.
After planting, he used a preemergence treatment of Enlist One® herbicide and residual herbicides. He reports that program is holding back broadleaf weeds for now.
“The first Enlist E3 field I planted is phenomenal,” he says. “I planted the other one three days later and it’s not growing quite as fast, but it still looks good. We just need more heat and sunshine.”
He plans to follow with either Enlist One or Enlist Duo® herbicides, but he’s waiting to see what he thinks the crop will need.
“All options are on the table,” Schultz says. “Enlist One. Enlist Duo. I’m excited about the whole program.”
He appreciates the Enlist™ weed control system’s flexibility.
“I’m not going into a fight with one hand tied behind my back,” Schultz explains. “I can come out swinging with both hands. We can use this approach or that approach. That’s key to me.”
He’s aware that success comes from following the herbicide label. He’s not worried about keeping these products on target.
“With this package, I have no concerns – as long as I follow the label,” he adds.
He’s talking with neighbors so they’ll know where he’s using his herbicide technologies.
“They’re all aware of where we planted the Enlist E3 soybeans,” Schultz says. “They’re excited to see what they do and see how they yield at the end of the season. We put them along a road where other growers can see them. We have our own crops on the other three sides.”
He’s hoping for clean, weed-free fields that will impress the neighbors and pave the way for higher yield.
Nonirrigated, Nearly 100% no-till