Strict application protocols for the use of 2,4-D and dicamba tolerant crops must be in place before the new technologies can find a solid foothold in the Southeast farming landscape. And work is being done to create and implement such plans.
Pending regulatory approval, Monsanto plans to offer soybeans tolerant to its Roundup Ready 2 Xtend, which will have glyphosate and dicamba herbicides, available to farmers for the 2014 growing season.
Dow AgroSciences plans to have available corn varieties tolerant to its Enlist Duo herbicide (2,4-D choline and glyphosate), part of its Enlist Weed Control System, ready for the 2014 growing season. Both companies plan to launch cotton, corn and soybeans varieties tolerant to their respective systems by mid-decade.
The labels on both products will have strict application and equipment requirements.
Enlist Duo herbicide comes with Dow's proprietary technology called Colex-D, which makes the new 2,4-D formulation very low in volatility, minimizes physical drift, decreases odor and improves handling. Monsanto partnered with BASF to create Roundup Xtend herbicide with low-volatility dicamba.
Application requirements vary slightly for each product, but have a lot in common:
No aerial application for either product. Growers who use the new technology will be required to watch spray heights, no more than 20 inches above canopy. Only spray when weeds are four inches or less, for example, with the Roundup Xtend system. They will need to use low-drift nozzles, like TEE JET's AiXR nozzles with the Enlist system. Proper wind speeds, between 3 and 10 mph, and wind direction and air temperature will be part of using it, too. Can't drive the sprayer faster than 15 mph, either. And proper tank clean out will be essential.