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Seeing Valor herbicide in new ways

With glyphosate-tolerant pigweed having been found in Arkansas, Cam Smith has been asked how Valor can fit into Roundup Ready and Flex cotton systems. “If you look at overall trends, the majority of cotton growers seem to prefer a burndown, a hooded application and a lay-by spraying. Valor fits in all three,” says the Valent market segment manager for southern row crops.

With more pre's going into burndown, the advent of Flex (with the potential elimination of hoods), and resistant weeds popping up, “it's pretty clear that, although we want to continue growing our lay-by market, we need to shift our focus towards the burndown acre with Valor at 2 ounces.”

Here's why Smith says that: if a producer puts out Valor at 2 ounces with Roundup, “he'll control from a pre-emergence standpoint, the marestail and pigweed. Those are the two key (glyphosate) resistant weeds in a Roundup Ready system.

“Regardless of seed trait, if you've got 2 ounces of Valor down it doesn't matter whether you plant Flex, regular Roundup Ready or conventional. Valor still provides control of those resistant weeds from a pre-emerge standpoint in addition to what you get as a burndown tank-mix.

“A farmer might worry, ‘I missed burndown. I've got to get my 2 ounces in the hood or at lay-by.’ But whether they're using Valor or not, imagine they haven't used a burndown with residual in a resistant pigweed or marestail environment. It will be a heck of a lot harder for them to control those weeds after emergence than if the 2 ounces of Valor was put out in the burndown.”

Valent has an opportunity to sell Valor as a pre-emerge material that provides extended residual and rotational flexibility regardless of seed traits. That will help producers wanting to change cultural practices with whatever system they decide to plant.

“From a pre-emerge standpoint, I'd rather spend the money upfront and know I was controlling the weeds residually. That's better than having the possibility of putting glyphosate down and resistant pigweeds or marestail emerging later and Dual not kill it.”

And it would be doubly bad if a producer's shots of glyphosate until bloom weren't effective and resistant seed found its way into his farm's soil bank.

“If you own land, it's your investment. Resistant weed seed on your farmland can lower the value of your investment — or your return anyway.”

One thing Valent has consistently pointed out is control of pigweeds is Valor's forte. That's what it was developed for. “(Glyphosate-resistant pigweed) really opens the door for our product. That's true not just in Arkansas but anywhere there's resistant weeds.”

And lay-by isn't a thing of the past, Smith points out. “That's still a growth area for Valor. But if they go with a burndown, producers may be able to get by with over-the-top sprays. And 2 ounces of Valor is another good lay-by treatment if they're irrigated or worried about late thunderstorms. That treatment will provide extended residual into harvest.”

Fall applications of Valor are also possible. If we put out an application in a known resistant weed area — say we break the germination cycle of resistant marestail — and put it out again 30 days prior to planting as part of a burndown tank-mix, then the pigweed cycle can be broken, too. We believe the window can be extended of the first glyphosate application with a metolochlor-type product.”

That way, instead of having to get the product applied by third leaf (fourth leaf is the cut off for Roundup), farmers can instead apply Valor 30 days out and then wait until “fourth, fifth or even the sixth leaf to spray Roundup, Dual or a Dual-type product. That would minimize the number of spraying trips.”

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