When the companies that developed the new dicamba- and 2,4-D-tolerant traits receive final regulatory approval for them, they plan to introduce new formulations of those herbicides to be applied over the top of crops with those traits.
That will also be true for BASF, which, along with its legacy companies, has been manufacturing and selling dicamba herbicide since the 1960s. Dan Westberg, regional tech service representative for BASF, discussed the new formulation – Engenia – and what BASF is doing to prepare for its launch in this video.
“Engenia herbicide that BASF is bringing to the market is the most advanced formulation of dicamba that’s ever been available,” said Westberg, interviewed at the 2014 BASF Research Tour, held at Murray State University in Murray, Ky. “We first marketed it back in the 1960s, and we’ve done continuous improvement of that herbicide over the years.
“Engenia is that step change improvement that we’ve developed specifically for the dicamba-tolerant crops – cotton in 2015 and soybeans, hopefully, in 2016.”
The potential approval of the dicamba trait and the registration of Engenia by EPA in 2015 could provide cotton producers with a much-needed tool for controlling their main nemesis – Palmer amaranth – and other weeds that have become resistant to glyphosate and other herbicides.
“Engenia could provide growers fighting glyphosate-resistant weeds with a good, new option, especially in cotton where there aren’t a lot of good options for weed control,” said Chad Brommer, who was recently named technical market manager for Engenia.
“We are very excited about the anticipated launch of Engenia,” said Dr. Brommer, former head of the research laboratory at BASF’s U.S. headquarters in Raleigh, N.C. “Engenia can provide a highly effective site of action, particularly for glyphosate-resistant weeds.”
Brommer and Westberg stress Engenia must be part of a systems approach to ensure it remains an effective tool. “Growers need to use a pre-emergence herbicide for starters and make timely applications of Engenia – on weeds less than 4 inches tall,” says Brommer
“If you look at the spectrum of control that dicamba or Engenia has it’s over 180 broadleaf weeds,” Westberg notes. “But it’s forte is those summer annual weeds that are really problematic in our Mid-South crop production. Palmer amaranth clearly dominates the conversation in many areas. Engenia will be very effective when used in a system.
“But many growers are also dealing with marestail; obviously that was the first one that was real problematic. Typically, in no-till fields, we’ll be able to offer an in-crop way to control that. We also have pockets where we have giant ragweed and common ragweed that are glyphosate-resistant. We also have spiny amaranth, particularly in a few locales in Mississippi. And in areas of the upper Mid-South, we actually get a blend of Palmer amaranth and common waterhemp. Those two can cross, and we’ll be able to provide effective control of that.”
Westberg and Brommer also talked the On-Target Academy, BASF’s program for educating growers about best practices for herbicide application.
“We’re working with producers to ensure that whatever you’re putting out goes where it needs to go and nowehere else,” says Brommer. “Thousands of growers have gone through the program, and we’re getting good feedback on it.”
Westberg says it’s a matter of performance and stewardship. On the performance side, BASF will ask growers to use a pre-emergence herbicide and “layer in at least one other residual herbicide to challenge those weeds so that we never rely just on postemergence applications of Engenia."
On the stewardship side, BASF believes the new formulation has eliminated volatility as a concern for Engenia. “What we must do is manage the on-target application. That’s selecting the right nozzle, which is first and foremost; using the right application volume; paying attention to what’s downwind; and paying attention to wind speed.”
BASF will be developing a comprehensive program and a set of recommendations so that farmers can achieve those objectives. To learn more about Engenia, visit http://agproducts.basf.us/campaigns/ingenious/