By Brian Kuehl
With the approval of new herbicide trait technologies, you now have some additional tools to use in the battle against weed resistance.
But there’s a lot to learn about how to use the new products properly.
Here are three tips to get up to speed faster:
1. Learn on the job. To avoid adding another task to your to-do list while you are busy this spring, rely on your ag partners — seed suppliers, pesticide manufacturers, university Extension resources and ag retailers — to help you stay up with what’s new.
2. Heed the new requirements. The biggest concern with the new trait technologies is off-label use and drift. The EPA has developed a set of rules to follow when using the new product. Some of them are:
• boom height — 24 inches above the soil
• weed size — less than 4 inches
• wind speed — 3 to 10 miles per hour
• nozzles — approved nozzles only
• buffer zones — required between application sites and sensitive areas
• sprayer management — sprayers must be cleaned properly before moving to the next field
3. Focus on adjuvants. Check the manufacturers’ websites for a list of adjuvants that are approved with the new technologies. The sites are: xtendimaxapplicationrequirements.com, engeniatankmix.com and fexapanapplicationrequirements.dupont.com. The adjuvants must not disrupt the drift emulsion system. They must not contain ammonium salts, including ammonium sulfate, because they can cause dicamba to be more volatile.
Avoid adjuvants that excessively reduce the pH of the solution. Oil adjuvants may cause a temporary crop response with the dicamba chemistry. Companies are offering new lines of adjuvants, designed for use with the new trait technologies and conventional herbicides. Some of the new adjuvants do not contain ammonium sulfate and do not affect the pH of the herbicide solution.
Weed management is the ultimate game of offense in agriculture. With over 30 weed species confirmed to be herbicide-resistant, it’s important to properly use the new trait technologies to control resistant weeds and minimize the risk of more weeds becoming resistant.
Kuehl is the director of product development for West Central Distribution and focuses primarily on adjuvants, nutrients and crop protection products.