By David Hillger, Ph.D., Field Specialist
As we prepare for the third full commercial year of the Enlist system in cotton, that launch can provide a preview of what to expect when Enlist E3 soybeans are fully commercialized. In 2018, cotton farmers planted 1.5 million acres of PhytoGen™ W3FE cottonseed, which includes the Enlist™ trait. Rapid growth means more than 70 percent of the PhytoGen upland portfolio was Enlist cotton this year, and Enlist cotton acres tripled vs. 2017.
The Enlist team working in the Corn Belt learns from our counterparts in the South, who have been advising retailers, applicators and growers throughout these couple of years. We can use their experiences and help retailers prepare their customers to succeed with Enlist E3™ soybeans, once we fully commercialize them.
Like Enlist E3 soybeans, Enlist cotton features three herbicide tolerances – 2,4-D choline, glyphosate and glufosinate. Cotton growers are using Enlist One™ and Enlist Duo™ herbicides as cornerstones of a program approach. Growers who implement weed control programs delivering multiple modes of action not only obtain better weed control during the growing season but also help curb the development of resistant weeds in future years.
As we look forward to full commercialization of Enlist E3 soybeans, consider these key learnings from cotton country:
- Help customers make a plan when incorporating a new trait technology. Urge them to use the Enlist weed control system on areas with glyphosate-resistant weeds. Consider the surrounding landscape and nearby susceptible crops.
- Develop and follow a weed resistance management plan. This involves using multiple herbicide modes of action to curb the development of resistant weeds.
- Follow the label when applying Enlist™ herbicides. These products offer inherent low volatility and a better formulation for drift reduction. However, applicators must always follow all label requirements. It’s critical that they pay attention to wind speed and direction, equipment cleanout and environmental conditions. Those who have used the system tell us when they follow the label, they have success in the field.
- Fully use all trait tolerances. If your farmers like glufosinate-tolerant soybeans, Enlist E3 soybeans are a natural next step with added herbicide tolerances. Farmers can tank-mix Enlist One™ herbicide with glufosinate or take advantage of the convenient blend of Enlist Duo™ herbicide to apply 2,4-D choline and glyphosate easily.
- Complete training before it’s time to spray. Retailers, applicators and farmers should take advantage of education and training opportunities before using the Enlist weed control system. Retailers can complete Enlist 360 training online for an overview of the system. They can send their customers to Enlist.com to learn more, too.
Retailers can help their customers evaluate new technology options if they understand those options themselves. We urge retailers to take advantage of the Enlist 360 training, found at Enlist.com. The Enlist weed control system truly is different from traditional 2,4-D and other herbicide trait systems.
We look forward to full commercialization of Enlist E3 soybeans in the future. We’re focused on preparing the industry to succeed with these elite soybean varieties containing the Enlist trait. As we continue to increase Enlist E3 soybean production and expand genetic lines, we’re committed to educating and training users how to incorporate the system confidently and successfully on their farms.