Garry Dillard is used to farming in the heat and humidity that greets him most summer days in lower Alabama.
Cotton and peanuts are the staple crops for Dillard, who farms with his brother Kenneth. Together, they grow approximately 3,900 acres of cotton and 800 acres of peanuts on Dillard Farms. The pair have worked side by side since 1975, and at 60, Garry Dillard says farming is still fun. He enjoys watching the crops grow during the season.
“It’s good to plant a crop and harvest it, especially a good crop,” Dillard says. “The main fun is the fall when you harvest it. If it’s a good crop, you know you’ve done good; you’ve done everything you’re supposed to. The good Lord and us made this crop right here.”
Dillard’s operation stretches into Florida, where he rents land from Todd Shelley, owner of Shelley Farms. Shelley grows several types of specialty crops, including watermelon, squash, eggplant, cucumbers and more. Dillard and Shelley met early in the season to talk through where Dillard would plant new herbicide-tolerant cotton varieties. Shelley showed Dillard where all the vegetable crops were planted.
Dillard would plant the PhytoGen® cottonseed with the Enlist™ trait next to a large field of watermelons. Although it did raise eyebrows at first, both agreed a farmer following the label could apply Enlist One™ herbicide successfully to the Enlist cotton without it moving on to the watermelons.
“I was concerned about the Enlist herbicide,” Shelley says. “However, we worked together and communicated a lot, and they’ve applied Enlist One twice, and we haven’t seen any problems.”
Dillard was diligent with each herbicide application to prevent injury to the nearby vegetables. Before each application, he and Shelley would review the label and monitor the environmental conditions, such as wind direction, wind speed and temperature. Dillard would only spray if the weather allowed him to meet label requirements and was conducive to an on-target application. After the applications, Shelley scouted closely for any issues with the watermelons. There were no problems.
“I talked to Todd and asked if he was good with me spraying,” Dillard says. “I kept the boom real low to the crop, and there was no drift at all. The tank mix of Enlist One stayed on target. It didn’t touch the watermelons.”
Chasing out pigweed
Dillard has been pleased with the crop tolerance of Enlist cotton to Enlist herbicides. He also appreciates the weed control the Enlist system offers. The technology helps him rid his fields of yield-robbing pigweed infestations.
“The main thing I’m trying to get is pigweeds,” Dillard says. “Everything else you can control pretty good with other products like Roundup [herbicide], but it won’t control pigweed unless you put something with it like 2,4-D, like Enlist Duo. It does a good job with it.”
Although Shelley can’t use Enlist™ herbicides on his vegetable crops, he sees benefits from Dillard’s use of the system.
“Mother Nature advances quicker than we do,” Shelley explains. “If we don’t continue to advance, Mother Nature will leave us behind. With Enlist herbicides controlling the pigweed population, we don’t have the seedbank to contend with the following year when we plant vegetables.”
Dillard plans to continue using the Enlist system, saying it’s a big part of his weed control program. He appreciates the collaboration with Shelley to help make the Enlist system a success for both of them. They agree that communication throughout the application process is essential.
™®Trademarks of Dow AgroSciences, DuPont or Pioneer and their affiliated companies or their respective owners. ®PhytoGen and the PhytoGen Logo are trademarks of PhytoGen Seed Company, LLC. PhytoGen Seed Company is a joint venture between Mycogen Corporation, an affiliate of Dow AgroSciences LLC, and the J.G. Boswell Company. The Enlist weed control system is owned and developed by Dow AgroSciences LLC. Enlist Duo® and Enlist One™ herbicides are not yet registered for use in all states or counties. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your area. Enlist Duo and Enlist One herbicides are the only 2,4-D product authorized for use with Enlist crops. Consult Enlist herbicide labels for weed species controlled. Always read and follow label directions. ©2018 Dow AgroSciences LLC