With the continuing problems pigweeds present, Mid-South producers have been watching for the arrival of the Enlist technology. An August 13 field day at the Northeast Research and Extension Center in Keiser, Ark., will allow a close examination of the technology’s promise.
Registration for the field day begins at 8:30 a.m. with the tour beginning at 9:15. A barbeque lunch will be served while door prizes are announced.
“What this technology will do is bring us options with additional modes of action in crops,” says Jason Norsworthy, University of Arkansas weed scientist. “2,4-D isn’t currently labeled for in-crop use in cotton and soybean. So, this will provide us another tool in the fight against resistant weeds.
“At the field day, we’ll showcase the tolerance of the soybean and cotton to the Enlist Duo herbicide. Enlist Duo will be the registered form of the 2,4-D choline plus glyphosate product that will be labeled for Enlist crops.”
Norsworthy emphasizes the following bullet points:
- It will be the only formulation of 2,4-D registered because it contains a proprietary formulation of a drift retardant and new type of 2,4-D.
- It also is an improved, low-volatility formulation of 2,4-D.
“Dow has gone to great lengths to develop this reduced volatility improved formulation.”
- In addition to the tolerance to the two herbicides, the cotton and soybeans will have tolerance to Liberty.
“That will really provide us flexibility in putting out several modes of action to combat not only pigweeds but also many other troublesome weeds.
“I also like the fact that with the Enlist technology you could go with something like Roundup and Liberty combinations. You don’t necessarily have to make a 2,4-D application. We have been quite successful in Glytol/Liberty Link cotton over the past few years with the combinations of glyphosate (Roundup) plus Liberty.”
- Use of the Enlist technology will remove the current pre-plant interval restrictions on 2,4-D use in cotton as well as soybean, another benefit of the technology.
The field day will also include discussions about the importance of nozzle selection. “Certain nozzles will be required for Enlist Duo application. What is the importance of proper nozzle height? What about orifice sizes? What is the proper boom height to help keep reduce off-target movement?
“There will be candid discussions of drift risks with this technology. There will be a drift demonstration set up. Cotton is very sensitive to 2,4-D and we’ll talk about how to mitigate the risk of injuring that crop.”
There will also be demonstrations on how to clean out sprayers properly, how to take out 2,4-D residues in the tank. “That is extremely important when switching between technologies with the same sprayer.
“This is a great opportunity for growers to see what this new technology will bring to Mid-South growers. They need to know the benefits as well as ways to minimize the risks of off-target movement and first resistance development.”
What about claims producers will need to have a dedicated sprayer while utilizing this new technology?
“Cleaning out a sprayer can be done. I’ve sat down with growers who have been going through the steps it takes to clean one out. It isn’t easy because you’re talking about it taking five to six hours to properly clean the system.
“With that kind of effort, some folks will certainly have dedicated sprayers for Enlist crops. It’s no different than the dicamba/Xtend technology.
“Sprayers for the 2,4-D and the dicamba technologies aren’t as easy to clean up as we’re used to with things like Roundup and Liberty. That’s for sure. 2,4-D on cotton and dicamba on soybeans are very active and damaging even at extremely low levels. Hence, the need to make sure every molecule of those products is removed from the sprayers.”
What about approval of the technologies?
“The cotton is approved and is a definite go for 2016. It was given the go-ahead within the last week, or two.
“As for the soybeans, they’re waiting for approval in China. Dow is hoping they’ll get that approval prior to planting season next year. If so, they’ll have a commercial launch in soybean.
“As far as U.S. agencies, the technologies have all been given the green light. There are no barriers left. There are a few states where Enlist Duo registration is pending. But I believe the EPA has granted registration for Enlist Duo for the whole Mid-South. We’re certainly good to go here in Arkansas. So, the only barrier left on the soybean side is approval overseas.”
How will this new technology help with PPO-resistant pigweeds?
“The beauty of this technology is you have two effective modes of action. Right now, with PPO resistance, we have only Liberty. That’s the only post-emergence option.”
Contingent on approval overseas, “we’d have 2,4-D to provide pigweed control. Also, Liberty and Roundup would be available for pigweed control in the Enlist crop. That’s the great thing about the Enlist technology – if someone is concerned with drift, they can still plant Enlist beans and spray Roundup and Liberty. If there’s not a high risk of moving off-target, they can use the Enlist formulation, the 2,4-D-choline/glyphosate mixture.
“Today, Liberty continues to apply a high level of pigweed control when properly timed. But, again, we know what will happen if you pound pigweeds with the same chemistry over and over. Resistance is inevitable in those circumstances.”