Farmers are gathering in Memphis for the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show this weekend. The show provides farmers a chance to see what’s new as they look toward the 2010 planting season. Establishing a good weed control program, that will manage tough to control and resistant weeds is top of mind for many farmers in this area. Monsanto Company and state extension experts are encouraging farmers to plan a program approach that incorporates the latest in product and program developments.
“Challenges in weed control for Mid-South cotton and soybean farmers have grown, particularly with glyphosate-resistant pigweed,” says Rick Cole, Monsanto’s technology development manager for weed resistance. “Designing a program in the spring that will help maintain control of those weeds can greatly increase success in the field. We’ve worked closely with a number of the weed scientists to understand their recommendations and align what we are doing to support those programs.”
The typical weed resistance management program includes plans such as:
• Always start the season clean with a burndown herbicide, tillage or use of a preplant or preemergence residual herbicide.
• It is best to use residual herbicides at more than one point during the growing season, with options including preplant, over-the-top and layby applications.
• Always rotate herbicide chemistries and herbicides with different modes of action.
• Look for any weed escapes following herbicide applications and clean them up before they go to seed.
• For over-the-top postemergence and hooded sprayer herbicide treatments at layby, use a Roundup agricultural herbicide in a tank mix with a residual herbicide.
Recently, Monsanto announced it has received approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the sale of a new formulation of acetochlor for early post-emergence use in cotton and soybeans. The product will be marketed as MON 63410 Herbicide for the 2010 growing season.
“MON 63410 is one of the solutions we continue to work on from both the crop protection and seeds and traits perspectives,” said Kerry Overton, Monsanto selective herbicides marketing manager. “The product offers residual control in that early pre-emergence window through a new encapsulated formulation of acetochlor. We anticipate this introductory year will provide cotton and soybean farmers an important step forward in weed control while offering good crop safety.”
MON 63410 is a new encapsulated formulation of acetochlor that provides for greater crop safety on cotton and soybeans than previous products like Harness herbicide and Degree herbicide. Both herbicides are approved for use on corn, where the compound already provides reliable pre-emergent residual control of grasses and small-seeded broadleaf weeds. In comparative testing against currently registered products under an EPA experimental use permit during the 2009 season, MON 63410 provided similar crop safety results in cotton with improved control of Palmer amaranth, more commonly called pigweed. Soybean testing in the same season showed improved crop safety results and similar weed control to currently registered products.
Cole explains, “Management of Palmer amaranth in cotton is especially tough but a season-long weed management program can reduce selection for and development of resistance. The products that are included in Roundup Ready Cotton Performance Plus offer farmers an incentive to work with experts to create an optimal weed control program.”
Feedback on Roundup Ready Cotton Performance Plus from farmers in 2009 resulted in the company providing growers additional flexibility to design the timings that work best on their farms. Growers can get up to $12.50 per acre in 2010 in the Mid-South and Southeast.