Spring Decisions Determine Weed Control Success
The decisions cotton farmers are making now will determine their success next fall. While genetics and other factors impact yield, the choice of an effective weed management plan can’t be overlooked.
For Arkansas farmer Jack Kent, one of the decisions he’s counting on is using the Enlist weed control system.
“Everybody needs to experience what we have experienced in weed control with Enlist,” Kent says. “So far, it has absolutely been bulletproof. It has done everything it’s supposed to do.”
“The Enlist weed control system helps farmers start clean and stay clean,” says Ryan Miller, Mid-South market development and new technology specialist, Corteva Agriscience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont. “When growers adopt the Enlist system, they have the ability to utilize several effective modes of action to combat weeds.”
Kent says the combination of PhytoGen brand varieties with the Enlist cotton trait and Enlist Duo herbicide are working great in his fields. He says farmers need this new technology.
“Cutting-edge genetics are important for yield and quality, and the herbicide-tolerant traits are important for clean fields,” Kent says. “It’s all about yield. All these technologies allow us to push the yields.”
He cites yield monitoring, genetics, herbicide technologies and insect protection as examples.
“A lot of what we’re doing – a lot of the success in agriculture today – is because of technology,” he says. “It has progressed tremendously in the last 25 years.”
Adding more modes of action
One practice that’s helping farmers achieve more yield potential is the use of multiple herbicide modes of action. This helps keep yield-diminishing weeds at bay, limiting development of resistant weeds.
The key, Miller says, is using multiple effective herbicide modes of action in a season-long program approach against problematic weeds. Enlist Duo and Enlist One herbicides are effective on many of the most troublesome weeds Southern growers face today.
“PhytoGen cottonseed containing the Enlist trait allows farmers to use several modes of action postemergence,” Miller says. “While Enlist Duo offers the convenience of 2,4-D choline and glyphosate in a proprietary blend, Enlist One herbicide offers 2,4-D choline with the flexibility for additional tank-mix opportunities. For cotton growers, the ability to tank-mix glufosinate for postemergence application will be a major benefit.”
Kent likes the idea of having these herbicide modes of action available. With burndown and residual products, he’s shooting for four or five modes of action in his fields.
Defeating drift and volatility
Kent says Enlist Duo herbicide is extremely easy to use, particularly after his experience spraying an Enlist field upwind from cotton without the Enlist trait.
“We followed the label, and it stayed in the field just like it was supposed to,” he reports. “We applied Enlist Duo on soybeans catty-corner to a conventional cotton field. In years past, that would have been an absolute disaster if we sprayed traditional 2,4-D so close to cotton.
“But we did not see any wrinkled leaves in that cotton field. And 2,4-D damage is easy to spot. There was absolutely no damage to that conventional cotton 40 feet away.”
Kent also says the PhytoGen cottonseed with the Enlist trait and the Enlist soybean varieties he planted were excellent yielders.
“The fruit retention was amazing on the cotton, and the yields turned out really well,” he says. “The soybeans were planted later than we would normally plant. I was amazed at the yields. The particular field that we planted soybeans in is a real bad pigweed field. That’s the reason we chose it. After applying Enlist Duo and following up with glufosinate, my combine driver told me there was not one pigweed in the 110-acre field.”
Trying is believing
Growers who try the Enlist weed control system report high satisfaction. The benefits are causing farmers such as Kent to make plans based on this valuable weed control technology.
“This is going to be our weed technology of choice,” Kent says. “It doesn’t move, it’s effective and it’s not complicated to use. You just have to follow the label.”