Growing Knowledge

Read the latest insights from our experts as they cover agronomy issues that matter most to you and your operation.

DRAs Really Do Matter

Dennis Christie
Agronomist
Once you’ve decided to plant dicamba-tolerant soybeans, be sure you’re ready to take the steps needed to ensure a solid return on your investment through more effective weed control. Using application techniques appropriate to new dicamba herbicide tank mixes will help protect yield potential while preserving the value of the technology for future seasons.
 
Follow the rules
Job one is to follow all label guidelines for tank-mixing herbicides before applying the mix to Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans or cotton with XtendFlex® technology. That means following directions for application timing and procedures, using approved nozzles and, in almost every case, adding a drift reduction agent (DRA) to the tank mix.
 
You’ll find lists of approved DRAs for each product on company websites. Specific requirements vary by state and can change over time, so double-check guidelines within a week of applying a low-volatility dicamba herbicide.
 
DRA 101
In general, DRAs help reduce off-target applications by making spray droplets larger. Larger droplets are better able to penetrate the canopy to reach surfaces of target weeds, which results in more effective control.
 
Larger droplets also means fewer droplets, so follow guidelines for spray volume to ensure good coverage. Most dicamba tank mixes should be applied at 15 gallons per acre, but be sure to check the label and consult your agronomist with any questions before making an application.
 
Aren’t all DRAs the same?
Even among approved DRAs, you will find performance differences. While all DRAs start out doing the job of increasing spray droplet size, some DRAs may not maintain that performance over time as they are subjected to recirculation within the spray tank.
 
Here’s why: Shear forces imposed on a spray solution moving through a spray system can cause DRAs to act differently. Some DRAs are more susceptible to shear forces, which reduces their ability to suppress fine droplets during application.
 
In testing multiple DRAs with new dicamba herbicide tank mixes using the WinField® United Spray Analysis System, we found some DRAs lost their ability to reduce the percent of driftable fines. However, OnTarget™ adjuvant continued to work after many revolutions through the spray pump.
 
We know OnTarget™ adjuvant will give you the best potential for return on your DRA investment based on comprehensive testing with the WinField® United Spray Analysis System, validated by in-field testing. The graph below shows reduced small particles in dicamba applications when OnTarget™ adjuvant was added to the tank mix.

 We have seen additional good results in field trials when OnTarget™ adjuvant and InterLock® adjuvant are used together in dicamba tank mixes. Adding InterLock® adjuvant at a rate of 1 to 2 ounces per acre will help improve consistency of spray droplet size for better coverage and performance.
 
Take time to plan your herbicide tank-mix strategy before application season heats up. Adding a DRA to a dicamba mix is the best way to get better return on your input investments and ensure good results from this needed weed-control technology for years to come.

XtendiMax® herbicide with VaporGrip® Technology is a restricted use pesticide. XtendiMax® herbicide with VaporGrip® Technology is not registered in all states and may be subject to use restrictions in some states. The distribution, sale, or use of an unregistered pesticide is a violation of federal and/or state law and is strictly prohibited. Check with your local Monsanto dealer or representative for the product registration status in your state.
 
ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW DIRECTIONS FOR USE ON PESTICIDE LABELING. IT IS A VIOLATION OF FEDERAL AND STATE LAW to use any pesticide product other than in accordance with its labeling. NOT ALL formulations of dicamba or glyphosate are approved for in-crop use with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans, Bollgard II® XtendFlex® or XtendFlex® cotton. ONLY USE FORMULATIONS THAT ARE SPECIFICALLY LABELED FOR SUCH USES AND APPROVED FOR SUCH USE IN THE STATE OF APPLICATION. XTENDIMAX® HERBICIDE WITH VAPORGRIP® TECHNOLOGY AND IN CROP USES MAY NOT BE APPROVED IN ALL STATES. Contact the U.S. EPA and your state pesticide regulatory agency with any questions about the approval status of dicamba herbicide products for in-crop use with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans, Bollgard II® XtendFlex® or XtendFlex® cotton.
 
Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans contains genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate and dicamba. Bollgard II® XtendFlex® cotton contains genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate, dicamba and glufosinate. Glyphosate will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate. Dicamba will kill crops that are not tolerant to dicamba.
 
Glufosinate will kill crops that are not tolerant to glufosinate. Contact your Monsanto dealer or refer to Monsanto’s Technology Use Guide for recommended weed control programs.
 
Individual results may vary, and performance may vary from location to location and from year to year. This result may not be an indicator of results you may obtain as local growing, soil and weather conditions may vary. Growers should evaluate data from multiple locations and years whenever possible.
 
ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Bollgard II®, Genuity®, Monsanto and Vine Design®, Roundup Ready 2 Yield®, Roundup Ready 2 Xtend®, XtendFlex®, XtendiMax® and Vaporgrip® are trademarks of Monsanto Technology, LLC

4 Tips for Successful Weed Control

Andrew Schmidt
Regional Agronomist
Spring is just around the corner, and you know that the emergence of troublesome weeds won’t be far behind. If you haven’t done so already, talk with your local trusted advisor about your weed-control strategy for 2018. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you formulate a plan to tackle weeds throughout their growth cycles.
 
1. Look at last year.
Evaluate the performance of your 2017 weed-control strategy to see what worked well and what you’d like to switch up. Note last year’s most prevalent weeds and devise your plan for controlling them first. Your local agronomist can equip you with resources — for example, university research and/or Answer Plot® Program data — that can help you make good agronomic and economic decisions for your fields.
 
2. Start with a clean field at planting.
Use tillage or an effective burndown application to get your crop off to a weed-free start. An effective herbicide strategy consists of using multiple modes of action, correct herbicide rates and timely postemergence applications. In no-till cropping systems, I usually recommend doing a fall burndown. Fall-emerging marestail is very difficult to control with herbicides in the spring, especially in parts of the Midwest. If you did not do a fall burndown, your spring burndown will need to use effective modes of action to control any winter annuals and/or marestail in your fields.
 
I recommend using three effective modes of action for any weed-management program. This strategy consists of residuals and postemergent herbicides. The postemergent herbicides should be applied in a timely manner and offer another residual to protect against later-emerging weeds such as waterhemp and Palmer amaranth. This can be an effective strategy for both traditional tillage and no-till systems. Be sure to check herbicide labels for plant growth restrictions on postemergent herbicides.  
 
3. Choose the right adjuvant.
The goal is to get all the herbicide you possibly can to the target weed or soil, so choosing the right adjuvant for whatever burndown system you use is key. InterLock® adjuvant works effectively with a wide range of herbicides to improve spray deposition and manage drift. OnTarget™ adjuvant is designed specifically for use with dicamba herbicide chemistries to reduce driftable fines and enhance canopy penetration. Talk with your agronomist about what adjuvant would work best for your fields.
 
4. Know your weed emergence schedule.
As I mentioned earlier, marestail can emerge in the fall, but it is one of the earlier weeds that also emerges in the spring. Another early emerger is giant ragweed. With these weeds, an early burndown application is important to achieve adequate control. Waterhemp and Palmer amaranth have a longer period of emergence — from early spring to peak emergence in June and early July. So make sure you use an effective preemergence herbicide, but also use a layered residual herbicide post emergent for late-emerging Palmer amaranth and waterhemp.
 
Large weeds result in limited options and higher costs for you. It pays to be proactive and consistent to achieve season-long weed control, so be sure to get an early start.

Key Considerations When Choosing Cotton Seed

Joel and Kyle
Hosts, WinField United
Host Kyle talks cotton on this episode of The Deal With Yield® with guest Sara Smelser, regional agronomist for WinField United. The two discuss why seed selection is a key factor in optimal production, and Kyle learns a thing or two about money.
Season 11, Episode 1 – Key Considerations When Choosing Cotton Seed

The Deal With Yield is a podcast series covering the issues that matter most in crop production.

Wheat’s Best Friend: Canola

Dennis Christie
Agronomist
Rotating your wheat with canola can provide big benefits. Planting canola breaks the cycle of insects and disease present in wheat-on-wheat acres so fields are cleaner when you return with wheat a year or two later. Canola’s large taproot also helps increase water infiltration, and improves the growth and soil penetration of future crop roots.

Here are three steps to optimize yield potential with a canola/wheat rotation.

  1. Control weeds.

Weed control in wheat can be difficult. By taking advantage of the Genuity® Roundup Ready® trait in CROPLAN® HyCLASS® canola seed as a rotation on your farm, you can reduce weed competition by applying WinField® Cornerstone® 5 Plus herbicide. This will make for a cleaner field when you rotate back to wheat.

Adding InterLock® adjuvant to your treatment can improve canopy penetration. Class Act® NG® adjuvant can also be included in your tank mix to improve uptake and speed herbicide movement.

  2. Provide adequate nutrients.

A NutriSolutions® tissue analysis, taken when canola greens up after winter dormancy, can show what nutrients your crop needs. Canola generally needs a minimum of 100 to 130 pounds of nitrogen and 30 pounds of sulfur to produce a 2,000-pound crop.

Depending on tissue analysis results, an application of MAX-IN® Ultra ZMB® or another MAX-IN® micronutrient product might be recommended by your agronomist. Also, insecticides can be tank mixed with micronutrient applications, so don’t forget to scout for pests when taking tissue samples to save a trip across the field.

  3. Harvest on time.

A timely harvest limits pod shattering, which in turn reduces the amount of volunteer canola that will pop up in next year’s wheat crop. To achieve a well-timed harvest:
  • Spread the maturity of your canola crop across your acres to ensure that it all won’t be ready to harvest at the same time.
  • Prepare for different harvest field conditions and weather scenarios, and determine which harvest method — direct combining, swathing or pushing — makes the most sense for your fields.
Work with your local WinField retailer to review Answer Plot® yield data and your own harvest results from the past few years to choose your wheat seed for the following season. Base your selections on which wheat varieties performed best across a range of conditions, and manage your crop using the best management practices for that variety.

Subscribe to the Advisor Newsletter

Sign up for monthly agronomic insights and product information.