As summer turns to fall, select growers in the Corn Belt are reporting on their experiences with the first grower-led research plots for the Enlist™ Weed Control System. The plots were designed to give growers experience managing all aspects of the new herbicide-tolerant technology, including the Enlist corn trait, Enlist Duo™ herbicide with Colex-D™ Technology and the Enlist Ahead management resource. Growers were asked to provide information back to Dow AgroSciences as the company prepares to launch the technology, pending regulatory approvals. “This is a product that represents where the future of agriculture is going. The Enlist system is going to be groundbreaking in a lot of ways,” says Jeff VanderWerff, Michigan grower and Enlist trial participant.
Growers in eight states took part in the trials, including Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Colorado. Participants were targeting a range of glyphosate-resistant and hard-to-control weeds, such as waterhemp, giant ragweed, marestail, morningglory, lambsquarters and a variety of grasses.
The Enlist™ plots were managed by the grower at each location with support from Enlist field specialists, a team of dedicated technical and agronomic support specialists Dow AgroSciences has put in place for the Enlist Weed Control System. Progress was tracked throughout the season.
Growers overwhelmingly rate weed control with Enlist higher than current systems
Ninety percent of trial participants rated the weed control achieved with Enlist higher than their current weed control programs in corn. The remaining 10 percent stated that weed control with the Enlist™ system was as good as the weed control they are achieving in corn today. “My expectations were high, and Enlist Duo delivered,” says Dale Zelhart, Illinois grower. “I was a little bit concerned about the marestail that was out here because I’ve never seen anything control it. It controlled it. It brought it down within four or five days. It was incredible.”
The growers cited the overall level of weed control, the wide application window and multiple modes of action as reasons for satisfaction compared with their current weed control practices. Pending approvals, the Enlist Weed Control System is expected to offer growers the same wide window of application that glyphosate-tolerant crops have today.
On-target application cited among top attributes
Growers were asked to evaluate the drift and volatility potential of Enlist Duo herbicide with Colex-D Technology. Lab and in-field research has shown that using Enlist Duo with Colex-D Technology in combination with a low-drift spray nozzle can decrease physical drift by up to 90 percent when compared with a tank mix of glyphosate and traditional 2,4-D sprayed through a standard XR nozzle. The new Enlist Duo also will have up to 96 percent reduction in volatility compared with traditional 2,4-D products.
Growers participating in the research plots had similar experiences. “We had Enlist corn planted next to some soybeans. With the constant 6-mile-an-hour wind and the gusts, we could lay Enlist Duo next to the soybeans, and I see no crinkling of the leaves, I see no drift,” says Doug Morrow, Indiana grower.
Additional grower plot data supports previous research
Participants were asked to evaluate additional aspects of the Enlist system.
- Growers reported higher satisfaction with the crop safety of Enlist compared with their current weed control practices.
- Broadleaf and grass weed control was rated in the highest percentile (90 percent to 100 percent) across all plots.
- Ninety percent of growers participating in the research plots considered Enlist Duo™ herbicide to have a low or an acceptable odor.
“The grower is the center of our universe at Dow AgroSciences,” says Damon Palmer, Dow AgroSciences U.S. commercial leader, Enlist™ Weed Control System. “The Enlist system has been designed with grower usability in mind. This on-farm research activity was consistent with our data, and it confirmed that the technology consistently performs in real-world scenarios across key growing areas in the United States.”
Pending regulatory approvals, Dow AgroSciences expects to launch Enlist corn, Enlist E3™ soybeans and Enlist soybeans with Roundup Ready 2 Yield® in 2015, with cotton to follow.