If you ask a grower what caused the most headaches last year, odds are you’ll hear “resistant weeds.” Looking ahead, the 2017 growing season may result in a similar story, but with a new twist.
Iowa State University has now confirmed Palmer amaranth infestations in nearly half of Iowa’s counties, a tally that’s taken off since the first reported case in 2013. Palmer amaranth only adds to the list of tough-to-control weeds already present in Iowa. Notorious species like waterhemp and giant ragweed continue to bring challenges.
So what makes 2017 a different year for weed control? Mark Storr, BASF technical service representative in Iowa, says growers can benefit from new technology hitting the market. “Soybean growers have a new site of action for use in soybeans this season with the registration of Engenia herbicide,” says Storr. “As the most flexible and advanced dicamba for dicamba-tolerant beans, Engenia herbicide will be an effective tool for controlling broadleaf weeds.”
Engenia is effective on more than 200 broadleaf weeds, including those resistant to glyphosate. It features the BAPMA salt, a completely new dicamba molecule unique to BASF, designed for dicamba-tolerant crops. The molecular weight of BAPMA and stronger bond with dicamba mitigates the potential for volatility by up to 90% as compared to DGA (diglycoamine salt) dicamba. A concentrated product made possible by BAPMA delivers the lowest use rate of any dicamba product on the market. With this new solution to use in-crop, growers can regain their weed control, says Storr. “Palmer amaranth is a very aggressive, fast-growing plant,” he adds. “It’s a larger weed that competes intensely with crops. Engenia herbicide will be helpful in getting ahead of weeds to protect yield potential.”
Good stewardship required
With the new technology offering relief to fields, good stewardship must also follow. The rise of glyphosate resistance highlights the need for proper and effective application. Managing against weed resistance means using multiple, effective sites of action to keep weeds guessing.
Growers can take certain steps to help address resistance issues. Start with a strong weed control program that includes pre- and postemergent herbicides with powerful residuals, always read and follow label directions, make applications at the full labeled rate, and target weeds when they’re less than 4 inches tall. These are just some best practices that can help.
“Effective and timely application is critical,” says Storr. “The best way to manage resistance is to prevent weeds from emerging in the first place.”
Educational resources are available to help growers learn how to properly and effectively use new herbicide products. The On Target Application Academy from BASF has provided in-person trainings on the topic since 2012 and recently launched an online training module to expand its reach in support of Engenia herbicide. The new digital training provides growers, retailers and applicators with best management practices, including tips on successful application, drift mitigation, nozzle selection and calibration. Easily accessible in the field or at home on any device, the training can be found at growsmartuniversity.com under the “Herbicides” tab.
The herbicide landscape is always changing, notes Storr. With new technology and resources taking the stage, resistant weeds have a different ending coming. Visit engeniaherbicide.com for more information.