Category Archives: Industry News

Don’t get trapped by a temperature inversion

A thin layer of fog sits atop a young crop in the early morning hours. It has a peaceful appearance, but these conditions may provoke horizontal movement of surface-level air, causing any trapped particles — such as pesticides — to move into neighboring fields.

What you see may be a temperature inversion. A layer of warm air covers a layer of cooler air and acts like a lid, preventing the cooler air from rising and mixing with the upper atmosphere.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), temperature inversions commonly form when the air near the ground cools at night. Calm winds, clear skies and long nights increase the likelihood of a temperature inversion occurring.

Gases trapped near the surface can’t mix with the warmer air above and dissipate naturally, so they hover near the ground and often drift sideways. Pesticides hanging in this layer of air can move into neighboring fields, lawns and gardens with unintended consequences.

“We want a light wind — 3 to 10 miles per hour — when making a herbicide application,” says Haley Nabors, Enlist field specialist. Within a temperature inversion, applied products can move great distances. “Furthermore, the direction the trapped air will move is unpredictable.”

Warn growers about temperature inversions
You can remind customers or anyone applying crop protection products to watch for common conditions that create temperature inversions. If these conditions occur, avoid applying any herbicides until the environment is favorable for a successful, on-target application.

Temperature inversions are most likely to occur when wind speeds are less than 3 mph and/or if the temperature is within five degrees of the nighttime low. That’s why spraying in wind conditions of zero to 3 mph is never recommended.

Technology helps identify conditions
All applicators should plan to check local weather conditions before making any herbicide application.

“If you identify a temperature inversion, do not make an application,” Nabors says. “The spray particles may never hit the intended surface, which makes the application less effective for your crop. If it doesn’t reach the weeds, you’re wasting your herbicide dollars.”

In addition, you run the risk of damaging susceptible plants in nearby fields, lawns and gardens.

Nabors urges you to check conditions before every application and even during applications. Weather apps for smartphones and tablets can be useful tools to monitor changing weather throughout a herbicide application. Always monitor conditions while you are in the field. In addition to weather apps or websites, an inexpensive windsock shows wind direction. An anemometer provides wind speed. A quick check of the temperature also is a good idea.

If you prefer a visual sign, releasing smoke or powder can indicate particle movement. The smoke or powder should drift gently with the wind. If it gathers in a stationary, suspended cloud, that indicates a temperature inversion, which may cause an application to move far and wide.

“With Enlist herbicides, we recommend a minimum wind speed of 3 mph,” Nabors says. “This allows some stirring in the atmosphere to dissipate any potential inversion layer.”

Remember, a complete lack of wind is a warning. Do not apply herbicides. Wait until later in the day and check again for a more favorable application environment.

Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (“DuPont”) or affiliated companies of Dow or DuPont. Enlist herbicides are not registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your area. Enlist herbicides are the only 2,4-D products authorized for use in Enlist crops. Always read and follow label directions. ©2018 Dow AgroSciences LLC

Pre-sidedress soil testing can combat spring weather yield impacts

Spring 2018 has been tough for corn growers. The Corn Belt specifically experienced unusually cold weather throughout April while other parts of the country saw late-spring snow, excessive precipitation and, oddly in some areas, drought. These atypical weather events delayed the majority of corn planting, prompting many farmers to ask: How will this affect my yield?

Historical data indicates that abnormally cold Aprils lead to below-average yield. While such weather and yield impacts are beyond farmer control, there are a few steps farmers can take to help combat potential negative effects.

  • A pre-sidedress soil nitrate test is a great option for farmers to determine the nitrate nitrogen available in the soil after the spring precipitation period and before the period of major nitrogen demand by corn. This test will show how soil was impacted by spring weather events and the late planting start and will inform more accurate sidedress nitrogen recommendations.
  • Best practices are to sample corn when it is 6 to 12 inches tall, or in late May to early June. Farmers should sample areas that are similar and 10 to 20 acres in size. This test works best if farmers avoid previous fertilizer application bands, including starter and anhydrous ammonia bands. Farmers should also take 15 to 20 cores per sample.
  • Tactful sidedress planning, along with use of a nitrogen stabilizer, such as Instinct® or N‑Serve®, can be a great option for farmers looking to optimize their yield despite negative spring weather impacts. This allows farmers to apply more nitrogen for peak growth at critical nutrient uptake stages and helps protect applied nitrogen by keeping it in the root zone longer where and when corn needs it most.

For additional details on nitrogen stabilizers, such as Instinct and N-Serve, visit MaxInMaxOut.com or contact your local Dow AgroSciences sales representative.

®™Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (“DuPont”) or affiliated companies of Dow or DuPont. Instinct is not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Do not fall-apply anhydrous ammonia south of Highway 16 in the state of Illinois. Always read and follow label directions. ©2018 Dow AgroSciences LLC

The 4Rs: Help customers get the most out of their fertilizer application and maintenance

With commodity prices at a current low, it’s now more important than ever for your customers to ensure they’re getting the most out of their inputs. One solution? Implementing the 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices for fertilizer application and maintenance.

The 4Rs of nutrient stewardship consist of a guiding framework that centers upon applying the right source of nutrient, at the right rate, at the right time and in the right place. From this framework, your customers can track and achieve their cropping goals, such as increased production, profitability, environmental protection and sustainability.

Regardless of the market health, each growing season is still laden with uncertainty and risk regarding temperatures and precipitation patterns. However, by applying the 4R practices and using the right nitrogen stabilizer, your customers can extend nitrogen availability in the soil, maximize the efficiency of their nutrient management and protect their inputs from leaching and denitrification, even with fluctuating commodity prices and during the most ambiguous environmental conditions.

By using nitrogen stabilizers like Instinct® and N-Serve®, your customers are able to keep nitrogen in the right place up to eight weeks longer and, ultimately, maximize their growth to benefit their nutrient management plan.

For more information on the 4Rs, visit www.nutrientstewardship.com/4rs. For additional details on nitrogen stabilizers like Instinct and N-Serve, visit MaxInMaxOut.com, or contact your local Corteva Agriscience sales representative.

®™ Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (“DuPont”) or affiliated companies of Dow or DuPont. Instinct is not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Do not fall-apply anhydrous ammonia south of Highway 16 in the state of Illinois. Always read and follow label directions. ©2018 Dow AgroSciences LLC

Burndown benefit: The early bird gets the weed

Weeds are becoming more persistent. As more farmers adopt minimum-tillage programs, weeds are coming up earlier and thicker. With more weeds developing resistance to certain herbicides, an effective burndown program is almost essential to a successful campaign against weeds.

“Starting with a clean field is paramount to maximizing the yield potential in today’s production systems,” says David Hillger, Ph.D., Enlist field specialist. “If you allow weeds to have a head start, no matter how small they are, they can rob potential profit from your operation.”

It’s a classic case of “if you snooze, you lose.” Sure, weather and other farm-related responsibilities can make it difficult for farmers to achieve timely burndowns of every field. But retailers can help remind customers about the importance of starting with a clean field and keeping it clean the entire growing season.

A helpful burndown option
Tyler Tietjen, a Nebraska farmer, used Enlist Duo® herbicide as a burndown last spring. “I want clean fields when I start,” Tietjen says. “I expect the field to be 100 percent clean. Enlist Duo got everything. The field was clean after using it for burndown.”

Hillger encourages farmers to try Enlist herbicides for burndown. Enlist Duo® herbicide contains new 2,4-D choline as well as glyphosate. The combination helps control a broad range of tough and stubborn weeds.

Enlist One herbicide is a straight-goods 2,4-D choline that offers additional tank-mix flexibility. This allows farmers to tailor their burndown program by combining modes of action to target their specific weed challenges.

Get the jump on weeds
“Not having a good burndown program is like beginning a marathon an hour after the starting gun goes off,” Hillger says. “It might be possible to get those weeds back under control, but any delays or missteps makes it more difficult to avoid yield losses due to competition for resources.”

Hillger notes the highest yield potential during the season is when the crop is planted. “Doing whatever we can to give that crop the best opportunity to establish and compete in its surroundings helps us preserve more yield,” he says.

Retailers can help customers design an effective burndown program. Most university websites cite 2,4-D as a growth regulator herbicide that offers effective broadleaf control for burndown applications.

“Using 2,4-D simply works,” Hillger says. “It’s predictable. It’s been a staple of weed control programs for many years.

“The advantages we see with the new Enlist Duo and Enlist One are that you have the proven effectiveness of 2,4-D while gaining the added comfort of lower odor and improved on-target application from the Colex-D technology found in these products,” Hillger says.

Four key benefits
Like those using Enlist herbicides for postemergence applications, farmers who use these products for burndown experience the benefits of Colex-D® technology:

  • Near-zero volatility
  • Minimized potential for physical drift
  • Low odor
  • Improved handling characteristics

“It’s important to get effective herbicide modes of action onto the field early,” Hillger says. “Generally speaking, it’s the early bird that gets the weeds.”

®™DOW Diamond, Colex-D, Enlist, Enlist Duo, the Enlist Logo and Enlist One are trademarks of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow. Enlist Duo and Enlist One herbicides are not registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your area. Enlist Duo and Enlist One herbicides are the only 2,4-D products authorized for use in Enlist crops. Always read and follow label directions. ©2018 Dow AgroSciences LLC

Overlap residual herbicides to get ahead of Palmer amaranth

Winter is an ideal time to evaluate what worked and what didn’t work — especially when it comes to weed control. Mark Bernards, associate professor of agronomy at Western Illinois University, and his weed science class conducted research this year to learn about growth of two common weeds. The group compared the development of Palmer amaranth with waterhemp plants as they grew in the same pot and had to compete. The result? Palmer amaranth grew more aggressively than waterhemp.

“One of the things we noticed is that Palmer amaranth adds leaves a lot quicker,” Bernards says. “At the end, Palmer amaranth had 17 to 18 leaves per pot whereas waterhemp had somewhere between 13 and 14. Palmer amaranth is a much more aggressive species.”

Whether the concern this year was Palmer amaranth, waterhemp or giant ragweed, corn farmers can implement helpful practices to control herbicide-resistant weeds in the future. Bernards says the two best ways to delay, or prevent, herbicide resistance is to apply herbicide mixtures that have active ingredients effective on the targeted weeds and to overlap residual herbicides with multiple modes of action.

“Our primary focus needs to be eliminating weed seed return, which means we don’t let any new weeds into our fields,” Bernards says. “A preemergence application followed by a post- is critical for herbicide resistance management.”

Using a preemergence herbicide helps farmers protect yield potential early. Following up with a postemergence herbicide will not only provide additional control but also help farmers navigate unfavorable weather circumstances.

“Farmers need a powerful herbicide program to fend off Palmer amaranth next season,” says Lyndsie Kaehler, U.S. product manager, Dow AgroSciences. “An example of a strong approach is applying SureStart II or FulTime NXT herbicide preemergence followed by Resicore herbicide for four modes of action that will work deep into the season. Many farmers also choose to add glyphosate and atrazine to this program to increase the number of different modes of action.”

For more information about Resicore® herbicide and controlling herbicide-resistant weeds, including Palmer amaranth, visit PowerOverWeeds.com.

Competitive nature of Palmer amaranth

Mark Bernards, associate professor of agronomy at Western Illinois University, and his weed science class conducted research this year to learn about growth of Palmer amaranth and waterhemp as they grew in the same pot. Palmer amaranth grew more aggressively than waterhemp.

®Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow. FulTime NXT is a federally Restricted Use Pesticide. FulTime NXT, Resicore and SureStart II are not registered for sale or use in all states. FulTime NXT, Resicore and SureStart II are not available for sale, distribution or use in Nassau and Suffolk counties in the state of New York. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Always read and follow label directions. ©2017 Dow AgroSciences LLC

Use new technology, build your knowledge, help your customers

Farmers depend on you for information. That’s particularly true when a new product or technology comes along. You can help your customers succeed by providing advice about which new technologies are most likely to work in their fields.

One way to understand new technologies is to try them yourself to see where and how they perform. Alan Lager, a retailer with AgChoice, an MFA dealer in Rock Port, Missouri, is doing just that.

“I like to see what’s working and then talk to customers,” Lager says. “I can explain why a new product may work on their farm.”

Lager looks at what works in the field and reads everything he can to stay up on new developments.

“I read news articles and ask questions to learn about new systems,” he says. “I try to keep up with the ‘latest and greatest’ so I can help customers. You have to do your homework and be ready to answer their questions.”

Greg Young, a Mycogen Seeds sales representative from Lincoln, Nebraska, sees a lot of retailers who are hungry for solid information about new technologies.

“We show them new technologies such as the Enlist weed control system,” Young says. “We invite them to demo plots. We arranged several on-farm burndowns this spring with Enlist Duo herbicide. Those really opened some eyes.”

Young says the retailers involved in those trials can actively promote Enlist Duo® herbicide as a burndown for the coming spring. They also may be better prepared to help growers decide about opportunities for Enlist corn this spring.

“As a retailer, I try to visit research plots and ask questions,” Lager says. “With Enlist, we are interested in the effectiveness of weed control and on-target application. I think the flexibility to use glufosinate on Enlist soybeans may benefit many farmers.”

Lager realizes that when he earns a customer’s trust by providing sound advice, he’s earning their business. He can do that better by familiarizing himself with new technologies and understanding each customer’s needs.

Take five to 10 minutes to view the Enlist training module. It is designed to share with farmers interested in the Enlist system. The Enlist 360 Seller training is designed for retailers to learn about Enlist herbicides — become the expert so you can let your customers know about the latest in herbicide-tolerant technology.

®Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow. The Enlist weed control system is owned and developed by Dow AgroSciences LLC. Enlist Duo and Enlist One herbicides are not registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your area. Enlist Duo and Enlist One herbicides are the only 2,4-D products authorized for use in Enlist crops. Always read and follow label directions. ©2017 Dow AgroSciences LLC

The science behind nitrogen maximizers

Nitrogen is one of the most significant input investments for farmers. That’s why it is critical that farmers do all they can to protect that investment when applying it to the soil. After application, various forms of nitrogen — including anhydrous ammonia, urea, UAN and liquid manure — become vulnerable to loss, primarily through leaching or denitrification.

To reduce the loss of your customers’ valuable nitrogen, it is important to keep it where it belongs — at the root zone where your crop needs it most. Instinct® and N-Serve® nitrogen stabilizers work underground, where up to 70 percent of nitrogen loss can occur through leaching into the ground or denitrification into the atmosphere. They deliver maximum profit potential by extending nitrogen availability during the crop’s key growth stages.

The Science Is Simple
One of the most critical nutrients that farmers apply throughout the year is nitrogen. Nitrosomonas is a bacteria that breaks down ammonium forms of nitrogen, changing it from ammonium to nitrate. Unlike the ammomium form that’s stable in the soil, the nitrate form is highly susceptible to loss. Slowing down the conversion of ammonium to nitrates extends nitrogen availability in the soil for maximum crop growth potential. Instinct and N-Serve work to inhibit the nitrogen cycle by impeding Nitrosomonas bacteria activity for up to eight weeks, thereby slowing the transformation of ammonium to nitrate. This is most crucial during the often-rainy spring season, when rainwater can push nitrogen down into the soil as far as eight inches in a single rainfall in light-textured soils.

The Bottom Line
Maintaining nitrogen as ammonium minimizes leaching and the risk of groundwater contamination while maximizing available nitrogen in agroecosystems. Instinct and N-Serve not only help maximize nutrient availability, uptake and growth, ultimately increasing yield and profit potential, but also can have a positive impact on the environment.

*Camberato, J., and R. L. Nielsen. 2017. Soil Sampling to Assess Current Soil N Availability. https://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/corn/news/articles.08/floodingnitrogen-0613.html

Nitrogen applied with N-Serve® nitrogen stabilizer (left) compared with nitrogen applied without N-Serve (right).

®™Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow. Instinct is not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Do not fall-apply anhydrous ammonia south of Highway 16 in the state of Illinois. Always read and follow label directions. ©2017 Dow AgroSciences LLC