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Toasted soybeans deserve closer look

The Crops Corner panel of Indiana Certified Crop Advisers tackled this tough question:

“My elderly neighbor farms 500 acres. He does his own spraying. His soybeans look great, except for where he planted a different variety. He sprayed glyphosate on everything. It toasted that field.”

“I’m amazed this doesn’t happen more often,” says Steve Dlugosz, CCA, Harvest Land Co-op, Richmond. “He might want to recall the entire chain of events with that seed purchase. Not much can be done now, except double-checking seed tags next year.”

Betsy Bower, CCA, Ceres Solutions, Terre Haute, has a different theory. “Maybe he purchased LibertyLink beans or even sulfonyl urea (SU) soybeans. They would be tolerant to Ignite and Synchrony, respectively, but not to glyphosate.”

Just to know that a soybean variety is herbicide-tolerant isn’t enough, Bower says. “One needs to find out what herbicide it’s tolerant to,” she concludes.

Key Points

• Double-check your seed tags for herbicide tolerance. Do it before planting.

• Remember, not all herbicide-tolerant seed is equal.

• Retrace every step after an application mistake.

Play sleuth role

Help your neighbor figure out what happened, suggests Bryan Overstreet, CCA, Purdue University Extension ag educator in Jasper and Pulaski counties. “See if he has any seed left, maybe a bag from that field,” he recommends. “See if it truly was Roundup Ready seed.”

If so, you’ve got more work to do. “Ask if he did anything different there,” Overstreet says. “Did he spray a different version of glyphosate?”

If he filled up at a plant, make sure he really left with water and not 28% nitrogen, Overstreet advises. “I’ve seen this happen before when someone turned the wrong valve,” he observes.

This article published in the August, 2010 edition of INDIANA PRAIRIE FARMER.

All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2010.