By Ryan Wolf, Agronomy Services Manager at WinField United
The new dicamba-tolerant crop system is now available to help soybean and cotton farmers control difficult weeds and manage resistance. While this tool offers a much-needed new mode of action, it also requires increased application vigilance by users to avoid damaging sensitive nearby crops. Here are a few key insights to help you get the most out of the new dicamba products. (For more in-depth information, read the full article in Corn & Soybean Digest here.)
1. Follow label instructions exactly.
Currently, two low-volatility herbicide products are labeled for use with dicamba-tolerant crops: XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology from Monsanto and Engenia from BASF. Each of these products has unique application requirements listed on its product label. After you’ve selected the herbicide you plan to use with your dicamba-tolerant crop, it’s important to thoroughly read and follow the label requirements for use. Each set of guidelines must be followed exactly for successful use.
2. Manage drift and volatility.
To help minimize potential drift, the two new product labels limit application to certain wind speeds and applicators are cautioned to watch for possible temperature inversions. Because each label differs slightly on wind regulations, it’s important to follow the recommendations exactly as stated on the product being used to avoid damage to sensitive neighboring crops.
3. Include drift-control adjuvants.
Adjuvants are also recommended for effective drift-control management with the dicamba-tolerant system. Lists of adjuvants and tank-mix partners, along with nozzles approved for use with the two new products may be accessed online at the XtendiMax and Engenia websites.
It’s important to note that an approved drift-reduction agent must be in the mixture with the new dicamba herbicide chemistries when certain other herbicides and adjuvants are used. The designated drift-reduction agents, such as AG16098 adjuvant from WinField United, are specifically designed for use with ultra- and extra-coarse nozzles, and with these new chemistries.
Because label changes continue to be made, you are required to review the online label no more than seven days prior to making an application. You can also find out about buffer zone requirements here.
4. Protect against resistance.
Weed resistance to new herbicides can develop quickly if only partial control is achieved with each application. But if you apply the exact rates and follow the application procedures on the product labels, weed-resistance issues should be minimized.
While the dicamba-tolerant crop system is a welcome addition to current weed-control programs, it’s only one part of the long-term solution. To remain effective and provide expected weed control, the new dicamba products should be part of a diversified weed-control strategy that includes multiple modes of action, paired adjuvants and recommended best management practices.
VaporGrip and XtendiMax are registered trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC. Engenia is a trademark of BASF.