Everyone reading this has been to at least one field day - how else would you see new tech tools in action. Farm Industry News is attending its fair share of field days this year to see the ways products perform or learn about how planters can be set up poorly and more.
Of course, some of the work of field days is beyond the actual product discussion - like the BASF Living Acres program at a recent Illinois field day. It was there that visitors learned milkweeds are hard to grow - who knew?
At a recent Iowa field day, another for BASF, while learning about new products and the value of a two-pass program, visitors saw plenty of weeds. In addition they saw a field of weeds, which Mark Storr, technical service representative, explained was the site of next year's soybean test area.
Yep, BASF is cultivating a field of weeds so they can provide a solid test of how their products - and others - perform under duress. And we're talking plenty of duress judging from the healthy waterhemp, foxtail and velvetleaf on display in the plots. Of course, that's standard practice for other companies too, but it's interesting to just see a plot of weeds thriving in the summer sun.
One pass is a no-go
The key message from the visit - beyond the power of the new formulation of dicamba, Engenia, which will be available for soybeans in 2017 - is the importance of a two-pass program. That's perhaps best shown in the single herbicide pass preemerge in one plot where all you see is foxtail (you can see that on this page).
Storr noted that waterhemp was also in that plot area, but was choked out by the grass. That led one attendee to remark that "grass may be a great control for resistant waterhemp." Probably not a 'learning' most visitors were to get. The message of the value of a two-pass program, however, was important.
So a little secret that could come in handy if you're looking for a weed control option in 2017 for those Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans that can have dicamba sprayed on them (when EPA approves that label)? A full rate of Zidua Pro as a preemergence (6 ounces) followed by a tank mix of Engenia, Outlook and Roundup Power Max herbicides as a post application. This two-pass plan will put 5 sites of action down in a single season and should be a solid performer for preventing herbicide resistance.
There will be other two-pass programs from Monsanto and DuPont for use on these new-tech soybeans, this is just one demonstrated during the BASF field day - which of course promotes that company's products. Field days are a great way to get your questions answered, as are big farm shows. Before harvest time arrives, perhaps some field time is worth your investment.
Note that Engenia herbicide is not cleared for use over-the-top of dicamba-tolerant soybeans. That label has yet to be cleared by EPA.