ROCKVILLE, Md. (DTN) -- The Enlist weed control system is expanding this year, and with it, the need to be diligent about label compliance.
"We had such a good year last year, so let's not be overconfident and cut any corners this year," said Larry Steckel, University of Tennessee weed scientist. "Enlist is going to be used on a larger commercial scale this year, so the chance of problems is greater."
Enlist cotton acres are set to triple in 2018 to 1.5 million acres across the Cotton Belt, up from 500,000 in 2017, said Shawna Hubbard, herbicides product manager for Corteva Agriscience, the agriculture division of DowDuPont. The Enlist trait was developed by Dow AgriSciences to allow cotton plants to tolerate glyphosate, 2,4-D choline and glufosinate herbicides.
Enlist corn hybrids are also fully commercialized this season, and planting is underway across the Midwest and South, with a concentration in Iowa, Kansas and southern Minnesota, Hubbard said. The Enlist soybean trait is still awaiting Chinese import approval, but some growers are growing it in closed loop production agreements with ADM, she added.
Enlist growers have two options for post-emergence herbicides: Enlist Duo, a pre-mix of glyphosate and 2,4-D choline, and Enlist One, a 2,4-D-choline standalone herbicide, which has a broader range of tank-mix options.
KNOW THE LABEL
The Enlist cotton trait is offered under the PhytoGen brand. It is stacked with Roundup Ready technology as well as Widestrike 3, a triple Bt-protein stack for aboveground insects. In corn, the Enlist trait is stacked with either Powercore, an aboveground dual Bt-trait stack, or SmartStax, which adds two rootworm Bt proteins to that stack.
Both Hubbard and Steckel urged growers to remain diligent about following the label during the 2018 season. Non-Enlist cotton is especially susceptible to 2,4-D.
"This is not a time to take the foot off the gas in terms of training and education," Hubbard said. "Quite a few new customers will be using Enlist for the first time, which makes it just as important to make sure they understand all the requirements."
Here are the highlights of the federal label requirements for Enlist Duo and Enlist One:
-- Don't spray when winds surpass 15 mph
-- Don't spray during a temperature inversion
-- Do not spray when the wind is blowing toward susceptible crops
-- Leave a 30-foot downwind in-field buffer when spraying adjacent to a sensitive area
-- Use only pre-approved nozzles listed on the labels
-- Follow a triple-rinse tank cleanout process after use
-- Use only tank mix ingredients listed for Enlist Duo and Enlist One here: http://www.enlist.com/…
AN ABUNDANCE OF CAUTION
Remember that a number of states have additional 24-C labels for both products. Some states, such as Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama and Louisiana, require additional mandatory state training. A few states, such as Alabama and North Carolina, also drop the maximum wind speed to 10 miles per hour. Be sure to check with your state department of agriculture for any additional requirements.
Dow added a technology called Colex-D to Enlist Duo and Enlist One, which has significantly reduced volatilization of the product, Steckel noted. (The company permitted Steckel and other university weed scientists to test Enlist Duo many years before commercialization.)
However, many crops and plants are extremely susceptible to injury from 2,4-D, so even small amounts of drift can damage them. The Enlist labels ban any spraying when the wind is blowing toward susceptible crops such as tomatoes, fruiting vegetables (EPA Crop Group 8), cucurbits (EPA Crop Group 9), grapes and non-Enlist cotton fields.
Steckel said most of the problems he saw with Enlist technology last year stemmed from improper tank cleanout or mix-ups among growers who used both the Xtend and Enlist platform. "When you're running both systems, be careful cleaning out the tank, and watch what jug you grab," he said.
Don't use generic forms of 2,4-D on Enlist crops, Steckel said. They are much more volatile and -- because they are not labeled for post-emergence use -- can contain trace amounts of other herbicides that could injure your crop.
Growers are accustomed to add insecticides to herbicide passes, but many insecticides cannot be mixed with Enlist One and Enlist Duo, Steckel said. However, Enlist One does permit a greater number of herbicide tank mix options than Enlist Duo, namely glufosinate. "That tank mix is a great Palmer amaranth control option," Steckel said.
Although Enlist had a relatively drama-free commercial roll-out in 2017, applicators will still fall under increased scrutiny this year, Mississippi State University weed scientist Jason Bond said.
"Be smart, go through the list of things that are required on the label, because they are all there for a reason," he said. "It may seem frustrating, like someone is looking over your shoulder, but if we are going to use this technology successfully on a broad number of acres, that is way we will have to do it."
See Steckel's blog on this topic here: http://news.utcrops.com/…
Emily Unglesbee can be reached at Emily.firstname.lastname@example.org
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