PROMOTING THE BASICS
MONSANTO CANADA IS gearing up for the launch of its Roundup Ready® X-tend Crop System for soybeans. The system, expected to launch in 2016, will consist of Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans, with herbicide tolerance to both glyphosate and dicamba, together with new herbicide options.
Dan Wright, trait launch lead for Monsanto Canada, explains they already have the regulatory approvals needed to start seed production here, but are currently only growing Xtend soybeans on research farms under strict stewardship practices because they are awaiting approval in other jurisdictions (including the U.S. and China) and want to ensure the marketability of the crop before it is grown.
In the meantime, retailers and applicators are learning about the system through in- field training demonstrations this summer. “We want to train our dealers and talk about this technology now so that the knowledge base is there to make the system sustainable,” says Wright.
The combination of dicamba, (a Group 4 herbicide), and glyphosate, (a Group 9 herbicide), in the crop system is designed to combat the increasing problem of weed resistance. Dicamba offers a second mode of action as well as residual weed control for up to 14 days. Monsanto is developing two low-volatility dicamba formulations for use with the Xtend system to give soybean producers new options for pre-plant and post-emergent applications. Roundup Xtend™ is a glyphosate and dicamba pre-mix product, and XtendiMax™ is a dicamba straight-good product. The original Banvel®, an early dicamba formulation, has a higher potential for volatility and is not authorized for use with this system.
“We are providing growers with another tool to manage weeds,” says Derek Freitag, eastern technology development lead with Monsanto Canada. “Roundup is a good herbicide on a lot of weeds, and those that it isn’t good on can be handled by dicamba. Other modes of action should also be used to prevent resistance.”
Promoting a sustainable weed management system that includes multiple modes of action is one aspect of the application requirements Monsanto has developed for use with the Roundup Ready® Xtend Crop System.
“We want to raise awareness of good agronomic practices now so that when this system is made available it’s as effective as possible for growers,” says Freitag.
That means going back to basics. For optimal weed control, it is recommended you spray weeds when they are less than 10 centimetres tall and you need to make sure you select the right nozzle for proper coverage and drift reduction. With the Xtend Crop system, it is recommended that you use nozzles that are very coarse to ultra-coarse. It is also important to maintain the required spray buffer according to herbicide labels. If you are mixing two products, use the largest buffer.
While applying a herbicide, make sure you maintain a ground speed less than 25 kilometres per hour and maintain an appropriate boom height that minimizes the distance to the canopy while still creating the proper spray pattern. You should not spray if winds are more than 15 kilometres per hour.
Monsanto advisors are also recommending a triple-rinse tank cleanout procedure to avoid crop injury. Many growers have become complacent with their cleanout procedures with the increased use of Roundup Ready® crops but it is important to go back to proper procedures to prevent problems that are often assumed to be the result of drift or volatility.
Producers interested in learning more about the Roundup Ready® Xtend Crop System can visit Monsanto at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show or go online to www.monsanto.ca. •