An Amazing 24% of No-Tillers Seeding Dicamba-Tolerant Beans to Combat Drift Fears from Neighbor’s Fields, Rather Than for Better Weed Control or Boosting Yields

While seed companies would lead you to believe growers will be planting dicamba-tolerant soybeans this spring to improve yields or do a better job of controlling weeds, results from a No-Till Farmer survey indicate many will only be doing so to protect their bean crop against potential herbicide drift concerns from neighboring soybean fields.

Results from this mid-February electronic survey that drew responses from 472 no-tillers show 43% of these growers will no-till dicamba-tolerant soybeans this spring. Another 51% will not be planting dicamba-tolerant beans, while 6% had not finalized their planting intentions.

Among growers planting dicamba-tolerant beans, 27% expect to spray dicamba herbicide on all of their soybean acres, while 35% expect to spray dicamba on only a portion of their bean acres. Some 38% indicated it’s still an option, but actual use will depend on what weed pressures develop.

Among those growers who will no-till dicamba-tolerant beans, they expect to plant half of their bean acres to these new genetics. Only 3% of these growers indicated they will plant all of this year’s bean acres to dicamba-tolerant varieties.

Drift Concerns Real

These no-tillers were also asked to list the major reason they’ll plant dicamba-tolerant soybeans. Some 47% indicated it’s to tackle changing weed pressures. Another 29% indicated it was to capture an anticipated yield potential due to improved genetics.

However, an amazing 24% indicated the major reason they will plant dicamba-tolerant bean varieties is to protect their soybeans fields from potential drift concerns that might come from nearby…

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Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has served as editor of No-Till Farmer since the publication was launched in November of 1972. Raised on a six-generation Michigan Centennial Farm, he has spent his entire career in agricultural journalism. Lessiter is a dairy science graduate from Michigan State University.

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