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With approval last summer, many growers are planning to use new dicamba-tolerant Xtend soybeans this spring. This new technology allows farmers to spray their soybeans with new dicamba herbicides Xtendimax and Engenia, for effective control of glyphosate resistant fleabane.
While the Xtend system is new and exciting it is not the be all and end all in soybean weed control. Annual broadleaves, pigweeds, ragweeds, nightshade are all well controlled by dicamba. Where the herbicide falls short is on grasses and perennials, such as dandelions. Annual grasses are easy enough to touch up with an in-crop application of glyphosate, but dandelions are more difficult to control with glyphosate alone. We need to add another herbicide to the tank if we are to achieve control of dandelion in the spring. If we only use Round-Up and dicamba we will not be controlling all of the problem weeds in our fields. One thing to remember is that we should be adding another mode of action to dicamba or else we could run into resistance issues down the road the same way we have with Round-Up.
Using Xtend also brings along some extra stewardship. Dicamba will injure Round-Up and conventional soybeans. Growers need to be cautious to minimize drift onto neighboring crops. New nozzles may have to be used to produce the “ultra coarse” droplets needed for dicamba. A pre-plant early season application of dicamba will also be the safest for minimizing drift.
The take home message is; Xtend soybeans offer new technology to help control trouble weeds. However, there are some things to consider – dicamba will not control all the problem weeds that may be limiting yields and growers need to pay attention to minimize drift. Talk to your rep at Clark Agri Service to make sure you are Xtending your Xtend soybeans for maximum yield.
This Crop Corner has been written by Elliott Armstrong, Sales Agronomist at Clark Agri Service. Elliott can be reached by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 905-981-0045