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New Herbicide Resistant Tech Lets You Take Down Volunteer CornNew Herbicide Resistant Tech Lets You Take Down Volunteer Corn

Corn growing in soybean fields in the future may be resistant to some chemicals, but not all.

Tom Bechman 1

August 12, 2013

2 Min Read

Although some feared the worst after last year when some drought-stressed hybrids dropped ears before the combine arrived and others simply fell apart, reports of volunteer corn in soybeans were minimal this year.

For a long time now, the possibility of glyphosate or glufosinate-resistant volunteer corn in soybeans the year after growing that type of corn has been a possibility. However, several good grass herbicides for soybeans also kill corn.


The issue is coming back up again because when Dow AgroSciences launches the Enlist weed control system with Enlist Duo herbicide, possibly in 2015, the corn that is resistant to Dow’s Enlist Duo herbicide will also carry resistance to herbicides in the FOP family. That includes Assure and some other grass herbicides for soybeans. In theory, the volunteer corn growing from an ear of Enlist Duo-resistant corn would not be bothered by Assure.

However, Damon Palmer, who manages the Enlist weed control program in the U.S., says there are other alternatives. Some other grass herbicides with different chemistry will still be effective against volunteer corn in soybeans, including Select.

It’s just another question Dow team members are answering as they prepare to launch their products. Enlist Duo contains a version of 2,4-D with Colex-D technology developed by Dow AgroSciences, plus glyphosate. This version does not volatilize to any degree that regular 2,4-D can, moving off the target field onto a susceptible crop. Sprayed with drift-retardant nozzles, drift is also cut to a fraction of what’s possible with regular 2,4-D.

The original thought was that the Enlist weed control system would be launched for corn next year, but regulatory agencies asked for more information before issuing the labels. That occurred last winter. Now officials with Dow say a launch of both corn and soybeans is possible in 2015. They believe farmers need the technology to provide more modes of action and help combat resistant weeds.

About the Author(s)

Tom Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

Tom Bechman is an important cog in the Farm Progress machinery. In addition to serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer, Tom is nationally known for his coverage of Midwest agronomy, conservation, no-till farming, farm management, farm safety, high-tech farming and personal property tax relief. His byline appears monthly in many of the 18 state and regional farm magazines published by Farm Progress.

"I consider it my responsibility and opportunity as a farm magazine editor to supply useful information that will help today's farm families survive and thrive," the veteran editor says.

Tom graduated from Whiteland (Ind.) High School, earned his B.S. in animal science and agricultural education from Purdue University in 1975 and an M.S. in dairy nutrition two years later. He first joined the magazine as a field editor in 1981 after four years as a vocational agriculture teacher.

Tom enjoys interacting with farm families, university specialists and industry leaders, gathering and sifting through loads of information available in agriculture today. "Whenever I find a new idea or a new thought that could either improve someone's life or their income, I consider it a personal challenge to discover how to present it in the most useful form, " he says.

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