Despite well documented problems related to off-target movement of dicamba herbicides in 2017, BASF is chalking up the season as a success while promising increased education and training for 2018. The company shared impressive survey results from their growers and users of Engenia® herbicide Friday. Scott Kay, Vice President, BASF U.S. Crop Protection, said those farmers’ stewardship of the technology was a key to their success.
“I spent time talking to growers in Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana, and I spoke to them largely about their stewardship,” he said. “What did they do? What was their best practice? What made for a successful Engenia herbicide application? Following an application checklist, I think came out in nearly every conversation. They clearly had a plan and they had been trained on that plan. Using approved nozzles was also critical, so they had to change what they did before and adopt the new technology and new nozzles specific for this application. We gave away over 700,000 of those nozzles this past summer.”
He added success also depends on understanding what crops are in nearby fields and maintaining a good line of communication with BASF representatives.
In the new round of training BASF Technical Marketing Manager Chad Asmus says they will share what they found that led to off-target movement this season, “like improper nozzles, improper boom height, wind speed and direction, in many cases spray system hygiene, understanding how sensitive soybeans can be to small doses of dicamba and potential contamination points within the mixing and loading process.” Asmus added, “We also identified in some geographies nighttime applications and applications during a temperature inversion.”
There is an updated Engenia label for the 2018 growing season which adds requirements for spray application training, record keeping, wind speed limitations, and application timing restrictions. Asmus explains the product is now a restricted use pesticide.
“Only certified applicators and those operating under their guidance, may purchase and apply Engenia herbicide. Additionally, applicators must complete dicamba training prior to the application. To help applicators meet these new requirements, we will expand our Engenia On Target Application Academies. Application materials in both English and Spanish will be available at in-person training sessions and through enhanced mobile applications. We believe that when the label is followed, these updates will help to address concerns for next season.”
BASF field reps investigated 787 soybean symptomology claims during the 2017 season.
From BASF release:
In the survey, 400 soybean and cotton growers across the country said the newest BASF technology, Engenia® herbicide, designed to battle tough weeds for dicamba tolerant (DT) crops, provided them with cleaner fields in the 2017 growing season. Growers rated weed control from Engenia herbicide an 8.6 out of 10 nationally (on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best).
In addition to high satisfaction with weed control, 85 percent of growers surveyed planned to use Engenia in 2018 and 83 percent planned to recommend the product.
“While most growers achieved great results stewarding DT crops this season, some non-DT farms experienced symptomology that may have come from the improper use of the new technology,” said Asmus, “BASF worked with growers to better understand what was occurring.”
BASF field reps investigated 787 soybean symptomology claims during the 2017 season, most of which had no impact on yield. However, in a few isolated cases, yield may have been affected where the terminal growth was inhibited.
“Developing a fact- and science-based recommendation that focuses on a long-term solution for farmers remains a critical part of working together,” said Asmus. “That’s why we recently met with weed scientists from across the country to share 2017 season results and work collaboratively on a path forward. Growers demanded new technology in the fight against resistant weeds and they looked to DT cotton and soybeans and new chemistries as the next evolution in farming. By working together and properly applying crop protection products, more farms can experience cleaner fields and greater yields.”