Growing Knowledge

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

Boost ROI Potential: Attend a Spray Clinic

Ryan Wolf
Agronomy Services Manager
If you’re looking for ways to make the most of your input dollars this season, look no further. It’s time for another round of Spray Clinics by WinField United, where local experts will be on hand to tackle your toughest questions and provide insights to improve your bottom line.
 
Farmers and applicators who attend a Spray Clinic find they are more prepared when spray season arrives. Attendees can increase their return on input investment potential because they are trained on the latest application procedures, research and technology. Topics and demos will vary depending on geography, but will likely include:
  • Best application practices – review of new regulations, label requirements, drift management techniques and sprayer cleanout for new and existing technologies
  • Comprehensive weed management planning – developing a robust plan to manage resistant or shifting weed populations using multiple, effective modes of action
  • Optimizing your spray program – choosing the right product, nozzles and rates for each acre; contingency planning and incorporating new products into your program
  • Insights update – new research and field observations that could help improve spray efficacy
  • Equipment enhancements – machinery updates and tools that improve efficiency and spray quality
Spray clinic topics will be tailored to local needs, so each event will be a little different. You’re guaranteed to learn something new this year, even if you’ve attended a Spray Clinic in the past. Our agronomist experts will be available to answer specific questions to ensure you get the most value from your spray program in 2018. You’ll leave with research-backed insights and the latest product information to help you make confident decisions for the coming season.
 
Spray Clinic locations and dates continue to be added. Contact your local retailer to find out how to participate in an event near you. 

Fall Burndown Best Practices: Part 1

Joel and Kyle
Hosts, WinField United
On this episode of The Deal With Yield®, hosts Joel and Kyle welcome agronomist Andy Schmidt to discuss the importance of managing tough-to-control weeds for next season with a fall burndown this fall. Hear Andy’s tips for ensuring these applications are effective.
Season 10 – Episode 1: Fall Burndown Best Practices: Part 1

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

Setting the Standard for Boom Spraying

Joe Gednalske
Director, Product Development, WinField United
The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), a standards-developing organization for food, agricultural and biological systems, presented an award to the committee who authored ASABE S592.1: Best Management Practices for Boom. The award was presented at the ASABE 2017 Annual International Meeting held in July in Spokane, Washington.
 
I’m pleased that a member of our team, Lillian Magidow, research manager for Winfield United product development, served on the committee to create this international standard. Her role was to  ensure that adjuvants were included in spray recommendations, because they are not used everywhere in the world, but are very important for farmers in many countries, including the United States and Canada.
 
S592.1 identifies, formalizes and organizes basic spray application best management practices, addressing areas not discussed on product labels and helping educate users about proper handling of spray equipment. The standard reflects advanced boom-sprayer technologies that can affect nozzle performance and the potential for off-site drift.
 
In addition to WinField United, the committee included representatives from  equipment manufacturers, nozzle manufacturers, the agrochemical industry, university and independent researchers, and specialty sprayer manufacturers.
 
A voice for farmers
Lillian wanted to ensure that the standard made sense for someone who would actually use it in the field. Many times, what a farmer sees on a label started as part of an ASABE standard. So if a standard is created without farmer participation and representation, there might be something included on that label that isn’t practical or doesn’t make sense, or is less relevant for North American agriculture. And the label is the law.
 
Because the Environmental Protection Association (EPA) has limited resources, it depends upon standards organizations such as ASABE for guidance. We can’t tell the EPA how to assess a particular product; but if it has a question about what is a typical recommendation to a farmer, we can help guide that discussion.
 
We are so proud of Lillian and the committee’s accomplishments. We look forward to continuing these efforts to help give farmers a voice in critical agricultural decisions that are being made in Washington, D.C., as well as internationally.

With Great Dicamba Power Comes Great Responsibility

Andrew Schmidt
Regional Agronomist
Costly lessons were learned last year when off-label dicamba formulations were applied to dicamba-tolerant soybeans. In Missouri alone, 45,000 acres of sensitive soybeans were officially reported as damaged due to off-target dicamba movement, with another 100,000 acres of soybean crops estimated to be unofficially damaged, according to Kevin Bradley at the University of Missouri.1 Along with soybeans, damage extended to a variety of fresh market crops, homeowners’ gardens, trees and more.
 
The most important takeaway was that crops outside of the new dicamba-tolerant system are inherently sensitive to extremely low concentrations of dicamba. While assessing the damage caused in 2016, it’s important to learn from these mistakes in order to successfully incorporate the new dicamba-tolerant soybean technology into our weed-control arsenals.
 
Respect the Herbicide
The most obvious cause of last season’s problem was the use of off-label dicamba treatments. While new dicamba-tolerant seed was available in 2016, dicamba herbicides for use with this technology were not yet labeled for use. With a growing number of tough, resistant weeds threatening soybean yields, some operations jumped the gun by making off-label applications with older dicamba formulations.
 
Along with applying off-label dicamba formulations, several other factors likely played a role in setting the stage for damage to neighboring crops, including the use of the wrong-size spray tips, which allowed fine spray droplets to easily drift off target. Other causes may have been application timing errors, such as spraying when conditions were conducive to temperature inversions. Another culprit could have been the use of ammonium sulfate (AMS) as a water conditioner in the tank mix, which would have increased the potential for volatility.
 
Follow Specific Guidelines
During spray clinics conducted by WinField United agronomists this winter, we provided some recommended practices for use with dicamba-tolerant soybeans to help farmers successfully add this new weed-management tool to their production system. These guidelines include the following:
  1. Only use newly registered dicamba formulations labeled for use with dicamba-tolerant soybeans. Older dicamba formulations are more volatile, making off-target movement more likely.
  2. Read and understand the new dicamba product labels. These labels are the law and closely define how the product must be used.
  3. Consider the required combinations of products listed on the labels. XtendiMax® With VaporGrip® Technology for example, requires an approved drift reduction agent like AG16098 from WinField United, which reduces driftable fines, in the mixture when certain other herbicides and adjuvants are used.
  4. Avoid adding AMS to the spray tank.
  5. Use the correct nozzle type listed on the label to achieve coarse droplets. Also use the labeled pressure rate and don’t exceed the pressure limit.
  6. Keep boom heights at no higher than 24 inches above the target. A lower boom height helps spray droplets stay out of the wind and remain on target.
  7. Slow down. Maintaining the right ground speed helps control boom height and keeps spray pressures in check.
  8. Understand your surroundings. Wait until the wind changes direction to spray if sensitive crops are downwind. Or if a highly susceptible crop is nearby, do not spray dicamba products. Use other labeled herbicides to treat your field.
  9. Maintain buffer zones when sensitive areas are downwind. Follow buffer recommendations listed on the label.
Dicamba-tolerant soybean technology can be an excellent part of an overall weed management strategy, but we all need to pay close attention to application details to maintain its effectiveness. Always work with your local agronomist and retailer to determine the appropriate products and practices for your operation.
 
1. Dr. Kevin Bradley. “A Season to Remember: Our Experiences with Off-Target Movement of Dicamba in 2016.” Available at: http://weedscience.missouri.edu/2017%20Preparing%20for%20Xtend.pdf. Accessed June 12, 2017.

Make Spray While the Sun Shines

Joel and Kyle
Hosts, WinField
On this episode of The Deal With Yield®, host Joel Wipperfurth and agronomist Mark Glady are back to tackle a question from a farmer about the role weather plays in herbicide performance. Listen for their insights on how to adjust management practices based on weather patterns, including which adjuvants to add to the spray tank.
Season 9 Episode 4: Make Spray While the Sun Shines

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

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