You can’t sugarcoat it: 2019 was a dismal year for many North Dakota farmers. Mother Nature just didn’t cooperate. Still, Luke Anderson of Forman, North Dakota, found one silver lining last year: Enlist E3® soybeans.
“With what we saw last year, we’ve more than doubled our Enlist E3 acres this year,” says Anderson, who farms and is a seed rep for Dairyland Seed. “We have more than 1,000 acres with four different varieties instead of the two we tried last year.”
Those varieties range in maturity from 0.6 to 1.3. In addition, planting four varieties will give Anderson and other farmers a chance to assess variety agronomics and disease resistance.
“We need good agronomics, too,” Anderson says. “We have white mold, iron chlorosis and soybean cyst nematode (SCN). We have lots of soil variability. We’ve still got a lot to learn about these varieties.”
So far, the weather isn’t as much of an issue as last year. After a tough start, farmers in his area got crops in and have had plenty of rain. A little sunshine would help.
“The rains helped our residuals,” Anderson says. “We plan to apply our application in early or mid-June.”
Anderson uses tillage, preemergence residuals and then his postemergence program. In the past, postemergence meant two applications of glyphosate. With Enlist E3 soybeans last year, one post pass of Enlist One® herbicide tank-mixed with glyphosate and a qualified residual herbicide did the trick.
“We sprayed once and never touched them again,” Anderson says. “As a farmer, you’re busy all spring. Plant, spray, take a break and spray again. If weeds come back, you don’t get any time off. You can’t go on vacation. It’s nice not to have to go out for that second postemergence pass. Plus, the beans are so tall it’s hard to spray. You end up running over healthy plants and destroying them.”
Anderson is using Enlist One as the foundation of his postemergence program. He also sees value in having so many tank-mix options.
“It’s great to have the Liberty option,” he says. “And glyphosate still controls our grasses.”
The biggest issues for Anderson are waterhemp and kochia, but lately some Palmer amaranth are showing up in his neck of the woods.
“You can’t control kochia or waterhemp with one chemistry,” Anderson says. “That’s why tank-mixing is important. We need to rotate our chemistries to avoid the development of resistant weeds. The Enlist system allows us to do that. It gives us a little peace of mind as we try to avoid the development of resistant weeds.”
Luke Anderson of North Dakota takes farming seriously. He’s seen the need for new technology to control weeds, and he’s seen the value of Enlist E3® soybeans featured in the Enlist™ weed control system.
“About five years ago, it became almost impossible to control weeds with one herbicide,” Anderson says. “Waterhemp pressure was bad, and the weeds were showing resistance. We kept throwing chemistries at the problem, but it didn’t work. At the same time, Palmer amaranth kept creeping closer to our farm. We were not prepared for it.”
Anderson and his dad, Joel, began working with Dairyland Seed, which was developing varieties of Enlist E3 soybeans. They saw a value in the new technology.
“Adding a new 2,4-D product made sense,” Anderson says.
A passion for farming
Anderson’s farm roots run deep: He’s the fifth generation to operate the farm.
“I finished college and worked for a manufacturing company doing a lot of traveling,” he says. “I knew farming was my passion. It’s what I believed in. I just knew it was for me.”
Since coming back to join his father, he’s been looking for ways to control weeds without having to throw everything but the kitchen sink into the field.
“I think the way to use Enlist is to control early weeds with tillage then come back with a preemergence application that includes a residual,” he explains. “Ideally, we’d like to come back with Enlist Duo postemergence and not make a second post application unless necessary.”
Anderson realizes some years you just have to spray again to take care of persistent weeds, but he generally believes fewer passes through the field is better.
“The nice thing about the Enlist system is it gives us flexibility,” he notes. “We can use a program approach and get two more modes of action with Enlist Duo or with Enlist One mixed with glufosinate. We may be able to skip glyphosate some years. It’s nice to have options to change chemistries as we need to for weed control.”
Success reports raise confidence
Anderson has no concerns about Enlist™ herbicides drifting or volatilizing when he follows the label.
“The success cotton growers have had applying Enlist herbicides on Enlist cotton made me confident the technology would work with soybeans,” he says. “You just have to make plans and follow the label.”
Anderson and his father like to get ahead of weeds, not letting them get too tall before spraying. They’re following that philosophy with Enlist E3 soybeans. They sprayed Enlist Duo in the first part of July on a warm, muggy day when winds were at 10 mph.
“There was rain in the forecast and we needed to go to make sure we hit the weeds at the right height,” he says. “We had not one complaint, not one issue. There was no effect on nearby fields. On the same day, a nearby application of dicamba did cause some issues. It’s nice when you don’t get a call from your neighbor after you spray.”
Anderson says his neighbors are seeing the value of the Enlist weed control system.
“Most of the opportunities to plant Enlist E3 soybeans up to now have been for seed production,” Anderson notes. “As more guys try Enlist, I think it will surpass other weed control technologies in our area.”
Waterhemp, Palmer amaranth
Conventional tillage, nonirrigated