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What’s new from crop and chemical companies?

By Matt Reese

If, going into the late winter meeting season, farmers in Ohio were not aware of the problems associated with resistant weeds they probably are now. Resistant weeds were the clear theme and the dominant topic of discussion in the numerous meetings and the

Consultant Bob Wolf shows different sizes of spray droplets as they relate to herbicide efficacy focused on managing resistant weeds. Wolf is coordinating the On Target Application Academy.

Commodity Classic trade show in Tennessee last month.

Driving much of the discussion was an unlikely pairing of former chemical giant rivals Monsanto and BASF that have teamed up on this daunting problem. BASF’s innovation in development, Engenia herbicide, is an advanced dicamba formulation with low-volatility characteristics for improved on-target application. Engenia will help control more than 100 of the annual broadleaf weeds that farmers are battling in their crops, including glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth, waterhemp and marestail.

“BASF is dedicated to providing solutions, technical support and educational tools to help growers implement a weed management program based on herbicide best practices,” said Paul Rea, with U.S. Crop Protection for BASF. “We encourage growers to be proactive in their weed resistance management and to utilize herbicides with different sites of action. New advanced options like Engenia will be a key to success to help growers maximize yields and preserve their farmland for future generations.”

According to Steve Bowe, BASF Biology Group Leader, Engenia will be available for use with a Monsanto-developed dicamba-tolerant cropping system currently in development that is expected to be commercialized in soybeans by mid-decade. Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Xtend traited soybean and corn seed will offer a new resistant weed control solution with crops resistant to both glyphosate and dicamba, which will be sold as a premixed Roundup Xtend.

“We have been working on this since 2007 and, pending regulatory approval, we’re hoping for a 2014 launch,” said Michelle Vigna, with Monsanto. “The key with weed management is offering multiple modes of action and making it effective and cost-effective.”

To help educate growers on proper application technique, BASF has partnered with TeeJet Technologies and Bob Wolf of Wolf Consulting and Research to launch the “On Target Application Academy,” a one-of-a-kind, hands-on series of education training programs for growers.”

In addition, Dow AgroSciences unveiled Enlist Ahead, a first-of-its-kind management resource for farmers, and the newest component of the Enlist Weed Control System. Built on a three-pillar foundation, Enlist Ahead will offer farmers, applicators and retailers technology advancements, education, tools and training, and management recommendations.

Pending regulatory approvals, the Enlist Weed Control System will be offered in corn and soybeans, and will provide tolerance to Enlist Duo herbicide with Colex-D Technology. Enlist Duo herbicide is a proprietary blend of glyphosate and new 2,4-D choline.

“Enlist Ahead represents a fresh look at sustainable agriculture,” said Damon Palmer, U.S. commercial leader, Enlist Weed Control System, Dow AgroSciences. “This resource is the result of input from farmers, sensitive crop growers, academics, retailers and other stakeholders, who told us what they need to feel confident with the adoption of new weed control technology and management into the future. Using that knowledge, we are building this comprehensive resource with the grower and applicator in mind.”

DuPont and Pioneer had plenty to talk about at Commodity Classic as well with the release of 154 new Pioneer brand hybrids and integrated refuge products, featuring 36 new genetic families.

“Our dedication to market-based innovations continues to maximize grower productivity by using our ‘Right Product for the Right Acre’ strategy,” said Paul E. Schickler, president of Pioneer Hi-Bred. “This year’s genetic and technology options will address many of the local challenges growers will face by providing industry-leading, drought-tolerant and integrated refuge management products.”

The new genetic families and hybrids show Pioneer’s continued commitment to localized testing through the IMPACT (Intensively Managed Product Advancement, Characterization and Training) trial program. Through this testing, the company advances products that perform well on growers’ own farms on a field-by-field basis. These new products feature strong yields and agronomic characteristics to meet the local environmental conditions growers face.

Key advancements in the Pioneer 2012 corn hybrid lineup include Optimum AQUAmax hybrids, designed for water-stressed environments, featuring 17 new hybrids in the 96 to 115 comparative relative maturity (CRM) range. Pioneer’s new class includes an expanded Optimum AcreMax family of products. This new class contains 16 Optimum AcreMax

Dale Minyo interviews Michelle Vigna from Monsanto about the new Extend crop system that combines the benefits of dicamba and glyphosate resistance in crops to control challenging weeds.

products, the single-bag integrated refuge product targeting above-ground insects. In addition, Pioneer is introducing seven Optimum AcreMax Xtra products, which provide growers a single-bag integrated refuge product targeting above- and below-ground insects.

Bayer CropScience was highlighting the impressive performance of the Prosaro and Stratego YLD fungicides.

“The guys who used fungicides saw that the performance was way off the charts in 2011,” said Randy Myers, Bayer fungicide manager. “Prosaro had a chance to really show off its strengths last year. Spraying for scab in wheat really dictates the timing of application, but can control other problems as well. Right now one of the biggest concerns popping up is grain quality. Growers are becoming much more aware of the importance of managing mycotoxins. And, with the dry summer conditions in western Ohio last year, fungicide treatments on corn still showed improved yields.”


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