Monsanto enhances residual herbicide program

Season-long weed control is vital to combating tough weeds on the farm. Roundup Ready Cotton Performance Plus, a Monsanto residual herbicide program, is being enhanced in 2010 to help farmers proactively manage the problem of glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth.

By participating in the Roundup Ready Cotton Performance Plus program, farmers can receive rebates of up to $12.50 per acre from Monsanto for using qualifying residual herbicides as part of the Roundup Ready and Genuity Roundup Ready Flex cotton systems.

The program, which is offered in the Southeast and Delta regions of the Cotton Belt, is being improved for 2010 by providing increased flexibility in the timing of residual herbicide applications.

“We’re recommending that farmers use residual herbicides and approach every field proactively,” said Rick Cole, Monsanto Technology Development Manager. “The 2010 program supports the use of the right residual herbicide at the right timing to allow farmers to follow the best recommendations for their areas.”

Monsanto recommends a season-long weed control approach that includes residual applications throughout the growing season — for pre-plant, early post and layby. “Research shows that one residual application will not be effective in controlling pigweed,” Cole said. “To be successful fighting it, you need a total system that includes the option for multiple residual herbicides. We’ve found that where farmers have done so, they have a lot cleaner fields.”

David Cox of Unadilla, Ga., said it is important to be proactive in fighting Palmer amaranth. “We have to pull out all the stops and use these residuals. This program offsets some of the cost, and that’s a benefit to us,” he said.

Cox is joined by farmers in other areas of the Cotton Belt in welcoming the program. West Tennessee and Missouri Bootheel cotton farmer Jimmy Moody took advantage of the Performance Plus program for the first time in 2009, and he will participate in 2010 as well. “We took advantage of all the program’s timing and product options,” said Moody. “We are fighting Palmer amaranth pigweed that is herbicide resistant. The Performance Plus program helped pay some of the cost of keeping this weed contained and preventing its spread.”

Monsanto includes herbicides from several suppliers and, in fact, does not produce or sell any of the qualifying residual herbicides. The program goal, Cole said, is to help farmers reduce weed pressure and maximize their yield potential.

“Glyphosate-resistant Palmer pigweed is a challenging weed to control,” he noted. “Monsanto has been working with producers and academics to develop solutions since the first instance of resistance was found in 2004, and many growers are using these solutions with success today. But you have to use the complete system to manage pigweed.”

The 2010 Performance Plus program will cover use of Valor, Reflex, diuron or Cotoran herbicides for residual control at pre-plant or pre-emergence, as well as Dual Magnum early post-emergence. The program also allows a grower to use the residual herbicides listed above at layby, if allowed by the label.

Each product can be used only once as part of the program. Farmers interested in participating are encouraged to contact their Monsanto authorized retailer or sales representative for details, or visit

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Two second-generation traits are stacked into one seed, providing cotton farmers with the ultimate combination of convenience, flexibility and performance. These latest Genuity cotton traits from Monsanto offer unrivaled crop protection for maximum yield potential.

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