Weed resistance solutions a hot topic at Commodity Classic

If farmers in Ohio were not aware of the problems associated with weeds that have developed resistance going into the last month or so of late winter meetings, they probably are now. Resistant weeds were the clear theme and

Resistant pigweed plants can produce 500,000 seeds per plant that can spring up in fields the following year.

the dominant discussion topic at the Commodity Classic trade show.

Driving much of the discussion was an unlikely pairing of former chemical giant rivals Monsanto and BASF who have teamed up on this daunting problem.  BASF innovation in development, Engenia herbicide, an advanced dicamba formulation with low-volatility characteristics for improved on-target application. Engenia will help control more than 100 of the annual broadleaf weeds that farmers are battling in their crops, including glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth, waterhemp and marestail.

“As the industry leader, BASF is dedicated to providing solutions, technical support and educational tools to help growers implement a weed management program based on herbicide best practices,” said Paul Rea, Vice President, U.S. Crop Protection, BASF. “We encourage growers to be proactive in their weed resistance management and to utilize herbicides with different sites of action. New advanced options like Engenia will be a key to success to help growers maximize yields and preserve their farmland for future generations.”

According to Steve Bowe, BASF Biology Group Leader, Engenia will be available for use with the dicamba-tolerant cropping system currently in development and is expected to be commercialized first in soybeans by mid-decade.

Monsanto has hopes of getting approval for their Roundup Ready Xtend traited corn and soybean seed that offers weed control solutions for resistant populations with crops resistant to both glyphosate and dicamba, which will be sold as a premixed Roundup Xtend.

“We have been working on this since 2007 and, pending regulatory approval, we’re hoping for a 2014 launch,” said Michelle Vigna, with Monsanto. “The key with weed management is offering multiple modes of action and making it effective and cost-effective.”

To help educate growers on proper application technique, both Monsanto and BASF have partnered with Wolf Consulting & Research to launch the On Target Application Academy, a one-of-a-kind, hands-on series of education training programs for growers. The On Target Application Academy is an opportunity for growers to learn herbicide application best practices that help mitigate spray drift and achieve the most effective weed control possible with today’s emerging product and equipment innovations.

In addition, Dow AgroSciences unveiled Enlist Ahead, a first-of-its-kind management resource for farmers, and the newest component of the Enlist Weed Control System. Enlist Ahead is being developed with extensive input from farmers and other key stakeholders, and is designed to help growers succeed while promoting responsible use of the Enlist system. Built on a three-pillar foundation, Enlist Ahead will offer farmers, applicators and retailers technology advancements; education, tools and training; and management recommendations.

Pending regulatory approvals, the Enlist Weed Control System will be offered in corn, soybeans and cotton, and will provide tolerance to Enlist Duo herbicide with Colex-D Technology. Enlist Duo herbicide is a proprietary blend of glyphosate and new 2,4-D choline.

“Enlist Ahead represents a fresh look at sustainable agriculture,” said Damon Palmer, U.S. commercial leader, Enlist Weed Control System, Dow AgroSciences. “This resource is the result of input from farmers, sensitive crop growers, academics, retailers and other stakeholders, who told us what they need to feel confident with the adoption of new weed control technology and management into the future. Using that knowledge, we are building this comprehensive resource with the grower and applicator in mind.”

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