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No-tillers growing corn and soybeans will soon have a new crop-protection tool at their disposal. And if managed correctly, it should be in their toolbox for the long term.
The USDA recently deregulated Dow AgroSciences’ Enlist corn and soybean traits, concluding one of the most thorough reviews of a genetically modified trait in history, industry observers say. The EPA also registered Enlist Duo, the herbicide containing glyphosate and a new formulation of 2,4-D that the Enlist crops can tolerate.
Damon Palmer, U.S. seeds marketing director for Dow AgroSciences, says the company will start rolling out the new system this year with a stewarded introduction of Enlist corn, and believes the system will be available to all growers in 2016, pending regulatory and export approvals.
Palmer and Ohio State University Extension weed scientist Mark Loux both believe the Enlist system has benefits in a no-till system, but warn that growers must be diligent to ensure the technology remains effective.
Palmer says the 2,4-D active ingredient doesn’t store in crop residue and glyphosate has short-lived activity, so there’s no concern of the herbicide carrying over in high-residue fields.
There is a 30-day, plant-back interval for crops that don’t contain the Enlist traits, so cover crops should be safe to seed as long as no-tillers adhere to that restriction, he adds.
Loux says the 2,4-D component, in particular, should aid no-tillers struggling with herbicide-resistant broadleaf weeds like Palmer amaranth.
“The weeds that we’re having resistance problems with are primarily broadleaf weeds,”…