More Sprayer Smarts Needed With Monsanto's Newest Biotech Crop

Inside Dakota Ag

Training gets underway on sprayer practices needed to succeed with newest Monsanto's biotech crop -- Roundup Ready Xtend soybeans.

Published on: August 1, 2013

The new biotech Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System is at least two growing seasons away -- thanks to court-ordered delay for an environmental impact study -- but the training blitz has started.

I’ve recently been to Monsanto and Asgrow/DeKalb field days where company representatives talked about what it’s going to take to use the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System successfully.

Roundup Ready® 2 Xtend Soybeans will contain the Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield® trait technology stacked with a trait that contains tolerance to dicamba. Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans, if approved, will be the industry’s first biotech product with tolerance to both glyphosate and dicamba herbicides.

Steve Valenti, Monsanto technology development representative, holds an anemometer up to measure the wind speed. Farmer will have to use such equipment to document conditions when spraying Roundup Ready Xtend System herbicides.
Steve Valenti, Monsanto technology development representative, holds an anemometer up to measure the wind speed. Farmer will have to use such equipment to document conditions when spraying Roundup Ready Xtend System herbicides.

Upon regulatory approvals, Roundup® Xtend Herbicide will be a premix of the herbicides dicamba and glyphosate, designed to manage weeds before planting and as an over-the-top option on Roundup Ready 2 Xtend crops during the season. With multiple modes of action, this low volatility dicamba formulation, premixed with glyphosate, is expected to provide an additional choice for broad control of weeds, especially glyphosate-resistant and tough-to-control broadleaf weeds, and to extend application and planting flexibility, including lengthening the window for post-emergence applications.

The big worries: Damage to non-resistant crops due to drift and improper sprayer cleanout.

In the months ahead, you’re going to hear a lot about:

  • Using low-volatility formulations of Roundup Xtend or XtendiMax herbicides.
  • Using nozzles that will give you a very coarse or ultra coarse droplets.
  • Using a drift reduction agent.
  • Only spraying when the wind is 3-10 mph.
  • Operating the sprayer at less than 15 mph
  • Maintaining a spray buffer between Roundup Ready Xtend soybeans and non-resistant crops or sensitive areas.
  • Triple rinsing sprayers. This is much more involved than triple rinsing herbicide jugs.

It sounds as if keeping weather records while spraying is going to be even more important than it now is, if you use the Roundup Ready Xtend system. You’re going to have to document wind speed and direction in the field when you spray to protect yourself from drift claims.

You’re also going to have to clearly identify which fields are planted to Roundup Ready Xtend soybeans so you, an employee or custom applicator doesn’t spray the wrong herbicide on the field.

To learn more, see information from Monsanto.