Cotton Variety Selection and Field Planning Help Optimize Enlist® Herbicide Applications

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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.

Haley Nabors


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.