Be Prepared: Be Aware of Surroundings to Use Herbicide Traits Successfully

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Farmers who know which nearby fields contain compatible and susceptible crops can maximize the benefits of their herbicide trait technologies, including the Enlist® weed control system. Josh Wilson, Enlist® field specialist, says it’s important to read and understand label requirements and make plans concerning crop placement.

“To be successful with herbicide trait technologies, farmers need to know when and how to apply them,” Wilson says. “They also need to understand which crops will be planted nearby. Implement strategic field planning and plant herbicide-tolerant crops where you can maximize the system by using the herbicides to their best advantage.”

Wilson urges farmers to talk to their neighbors to learn which crops they’ll plant on surrounding acres. Also talk with non-farming neighbors to know where susceptible gardens and ornamental plants are located.

Know the difference
Application of Enlist herbicides near compatible crops is relatively straightforward: Farmers face no wind directional application restrictions with compatible crops, such as soybeans without the Enlist trait, corn, rice, peanuts, sorghum and alfalfa. They can apply Enlist herbicides when wind is blowing toward these crops, because they have a low relative sensitive to 2,4-D.

“Also understand where susceptible crops — especially non-Enlist cotton — are planted,” Wilson says. Susceptible crops, as defined on the Enlist herbicide labels, are highly sensitive to exposure to 2,4-D. “Follow the labels for Enlist herbicides and do not spray when a susceptible crop is downwind. Spray only when the wind is blowing away from susceptible crops.”

For a list of susceptible crops, download the labels for Enlist herbicides.

After planting Enlist E3® soybeans or Enlist cotton, check weather conditions before spraying Enlist® herbicides. Time applications to hit weeds when they’re small, actively growing and less than 6 inches tall. Apply when conditions will limit drift potential.

Use multiple sites of action
Remember Enlist cotton and Enlist E3 soybeans are tolerant to three herbicide sites of action: 2,4-D choline, glyphosate and glufosinate – the ingredient in Liberty® herbicide.

“The best weed control will occur when farmers can apply Enlist and Liberty herbicides to the same field,” Wilson says. “They can use a tank mix of Enlist One and Liberty herbicides or make planned sequential passes of Enlist Duo herbicide and Liberty herbicide. Using both technologies not only offers the best weed control potential for the current year, it also helps curb the development of resistant weeds. This prolongs the efficacy of both these herbicides for coming years.”

Make a plan
Planning is essential to making sure herbicide trait technology works this coming year and in future years. 

  • Talk to neighbors about what crops and technologies they’re using. Field planning is essential for maximizing your opportunity to make a successful application of Enlist herbicides. Be aware of your surroundings. For the best opportunity to spray Enlist herbicides according to the label, place Enlist cotton next to compatible crops including soybeans, peanuts, rice, corn, sorghum and alfalfa. Avoid situations where the prevailing wind blows from an Enlist cotton field toward cotton without the Enlist trait or other susceptible crops such as grapes – which are defined on the herbicide labels. 
  • Know the field history. 
  • Use traits that allow you to apply herbicides that are effective on the challenging weeds in your fields.
  • Adopt a zero-tolerance policy for weeds. 
  • Be good stewards of effective herbicides.
  • Scout for weeds before and after application. If you see escapes, consider adjusting your weed management plan for better control in the future. 


Josh Wilson

Josh Wilson is an Enlist® field specialist and serves as the in-field expert for the Enlist weed control system in South Texas. His area includes a large number of cotton acres on the Gulf Coast. He also has a wealth of experience in soybeans, corn and rice from his work in the Mid-South Delta region. Wilson and other Enlist field specialists are experts in weed management, application technology and crop research.