OLIVIA, Minn. — What has been years in the making to be the next ‘easy button’ in weed control was on display in September at the Mycogen demonstration plot site in Olivia, Minn. The Enlist tour was touted as the launch of the Enlist weed control system by Corteva Agrisciences. This weed control system starts with seed that contains the Enlist technology trait; includes stewardship and best practices education for maximizing efficacy, called Enlist Ahead; and continues with Enlist weed control herbicides meant to provide superior crop protection.
According to Ty Stender, Corteva Agriscience Crop Protection territory manager, while other crops which contain the Enlist technology and the Enlist herbicides have been approved for import for some time, the soybean seed only gained import approval from China in January 2019. Thus allowing soybeans to have time for an introductory launch into this year’s marketplace.
The Enlist traits are in corn, soybeans and cotton. Enlist cotton was approved three years ago. Since the approval of Enlist cotton there has been 10 million acres of the crop that has been planted in the south. “It’s growing exponentially,” Stender said.
Enlist soybeans, otherwise known as E3 soybeans, are triple stacked to exhibit tolerance to three herbicides. E3 soybeans have tolerance to 2,4-D, glyphosate and glufosinate herbicides. “Corn has tolerance to 2, 4-D, glyphosate and FOP herbicide (grass controlling herbicides). Enlist corn is also stacked with SmartStax (for above and below ground insect control),” Stender said.
“One of the core values is protecting the trait for the future,” said Brian Rogers, Corteva Crop Protection territory manager. He suggests putting a pre-emerge down. “We want to protect this trait,” Rogers said.
Troy Anderson, Mycogen territory manager, said, “Enlist beans are going to be the big thing going forward.” He expects that the demand is going to be great. There will be millions of acres of Enlist soybeans planted for its full first year. “Our trait integration is getting the traits caught up to genetics,” Anderson said. In 2019 Mycogen launched 14 varieties of Enlist soybeans. They plan to expand that to 40 different bean varieties in 2020. All new soybean varieties will go through rigorous testing in Corteva’s Impact Plot Systems which is a thorough testing process that closely evaluates any new products for several years before they can go to market. “I’m so fired up,” Anderson said. He feels that Enlist is going to be a game changer when it comes to crop protection and productivity.
Corteva is broadly licensing the Enlist E3 soybean technology. Customers will have wide range of opportunities to choose the technology from multiple seed companies. According to their website over 80 different seed brands will offer Enlist E3 soybeans.
The Enlist herbicides are powered by a new formulation of 2,4-D called 2,4-D Choline. This new formulation is touted to offer near-zero volatility and to reduce physical drift by 90 percent over traditional 2, 4-D products. This allows for better targeting of the herbicide and dramatically reduced potential for off target movement.
One of the issues that farmers can face when applying herbicides is that there can sometimes be a small amount of solution inadvertently left in the sprayer when moving to a new field that requires a new herbicide. This becomes a tank contamination issue when a herbicide is left in the tank and applied to the wrong crop. At the Enlist demonstration site, several scenarios featuring this mistake were showcased. Enlist herbicide dilutions of varying concentrations were applied to soybeans that were non-tolerant to 2,4-D. Three different dilutions were demonstrated including a 0.5 percent dilution, 1 percent dilution and a 5 percent dilution. These were the equivalent of having a 1,000 gallon sprayer and leaving five gallons of solution, 10 gallons of solution and 50 gallons of solution in the bottom of the sprayer, respectively.
The soybeans which were sprayed with these solutions exhibited no symptomology in the first two dilutions and the most concentrated dilution (50 gallons in a 1,000 gallon sprayer) exhibited little and very difficult to find symptomology. This is because soybeans grow through the symptomology only expressing damage on the actively growing leaves that the chemistry was applied to, rather than continuing to express it like the cupping that is seen in an off-target application of dicamba. This demonstration was replicated with the same dilutions of dicamba on non-tolerant soybeans.
Dicamba injury (leaf cupping) was easily seen on the plants with only a 0.5 percent dilution (5 gallons left in a 1000 gallon sprayer). The symptomology became increasingly worse through the other two stronger dilutions, causing not only cupping but also severe stunting of the plants. The difference in the damage between the two herbicides at the same dilutions is because soybeans are 80 times more tolerant to 2,4-D than they are to dicamba.
The demonstration site touted that best practices are recommended when spraying Enlist herbicide products. These include proper nozzle selection from a large list of approved nozzles, maintaining appropriate pressure for selected nozzles, utilizing a full load of ammonium sulfate for maximized efficacy of glyphosate or glufosinate and spraying in wind that is three to 10 miles per hour. Because temperature inversion can still cause volatility, it is important to spray when there is a light wind.
According to the Enlist product use guide, Enlist products offer a reduced odor over traditional 2,4-D and improved handling. It’s being touted as being more user-friendly. The product is much more Minnesota friendly too, as it can be stored in temperatures to under 10 below F. Additional benefits include time of day restrictions for application, no specific date cut off for application and a wider application window than dicamba chemistries. Enlist herbicides can be applied to E3 soybeans through the end of the R2 growing stage. The dicamba system requires a stoppage of application at the beginning of R1 which is indicated by the very first flower.
This year in Minnesota, the average soybean field reached the end of R2 stage on Aug. 5. Dicamba applications on soybeans in Minnesota were required to end on June 20.
No buffers are required when applying Enlist herbicides next to fields planted with non-susceptible crops, even if they are down wind. According to the Enlist product use guide, these crops include soybeans, corn, wheat, sorghum and alfalfa. According to the label, sensitive crops grown in Minnesota include tomatoes, grapes and cucurbits (vining vegetables such as pumpkins, squash and cucumbers). If a sensitive crop is down-wind, do not spray until the wind shifts to the opposite direction. The only buffer required is a 30-foot setback when the wind is blowing into a sensitive area. A sensitive area is that which has been identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a potential habitat of a protected species. Sensitive areas include tree rows, pastures, grass ways, forests and road ditches. A minimum 110-foot buffer is required to these sensitive areas when applying dicamba.
Producers are continuing to look for the best seed and weed control options to increase their yields. Those presenting at the plot site were excited that Corteva is now offering a broad selection of high-yielding soybean and corn varieties to fit the needs of their customers as well as a quality weed control system to complement their new genetics. The enthusiasm at the demonstration plot was evident, the full portfolio of Enlist traited products has been in the works for a long time and they are finally here. The Mycogen Seeds and Corteva crop protection team was thrilled to share the new products and the benefits of the system with the dealers and producers who attended.