As the 2018 growing season on the Texas High Plains begins, growers and applicators are reminded to utilize two useful programs to increase communication among growers and avoid crop injury.
The “Flag the Technology” program, which originated in Arkansas, was introduced in Texas with the advent of new herbicide resistance technologies last season. Growers place colored flags at entry points on fields, with each flag color representing a different kind of technology, allowing herbicide and pesticide applicators to readily determine which products are appropriate and safe to use on a specific field. A mobile app, which emphasizes good record keeping, is available for the program.
The following are flag colors and uses:
- White: Technology is tolerant to glyphosate herbicides.
- Green: Tolerant to glufosinate herbicide, Liberty.
- Yellow: Clearfield rice, sunflowers, wheat and canola which are tolerant to imidazolinone herbicides.
- Teal: Tolerant to both 2,4-D and FOP (ACCase) herbicides, or Enlist technology. The white stripes indicate tolerance to glyphosate, Roundup. For Enlist cotton traits and soybean fields, a green flag should be added to denote tolerance to glufosinate herbicide (Liberty).
- Black and white checkered: Tolerant to both dicamba, Engenia and Xtendimax, and glyphosate, Roundup Ready Xtend.
- Red: Extreme caution required. Indicates conventional crops with no herbicide tolerant traits as well as sensitive production areas such as vegetables, vineyards, apiaries and organic production.
More information about “Flag the Technology” is at https://agrilifeextension.tamu.edu/solutions/flag-the-technology/.
Along with “Flag the Technology,” growers and applicators should register with the “Hit the Target” crop registry system. Once a grower registers with the site and enters their field information, registered applicators and other registered producers can view the location and flag color of registered fields, increasing opportunities for communication among growers and applicators.
More information about “Hit the Target” is at https://hitthetarget.tamu.edu/.
“Applicators must be aware of sensitive areas and susceptible crops around dicamba or 2,4-D tolerant cotton fields and develop an application plan,” Dr. Pete Dotray, AgriLife Extension Weed Specialist in Lubbock, said. “When applying new dicamba formulations, applicators will need to document their efforts to identify sensitive areas and susceptible crops, which can be achieved by surveying the surroundings, visiting with neighbors about the crops they are growing, utilizing the concept of ‘Flag the Technology,’ and consulting with crop registries such as 'Hit the Target.'”
PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett stressed the importance of communication about the usage of technology and on-target application.
“These new tools have proven extremely useful for growers, but it is absolutely critical that we do everything we can as growers to be good stewards of the technologies,” Verett said. “Our applications have to be on target to protect not only each other, but ultimately to protect our ability to utilize these technologies in the future.”