By: Lucas Gillmore, Seed Manager
This January, the agriculture industry received a rare surprise in China’s approval of Enlist™ E3 soybeans. Most were expecting Corteva’s Qrome® and a few other products to make the cut, but E3 was certainly not anticipated. Approval from the Republic of the Philippines came a few weeks later. On February 21st came a joint statement from Dow AgroSciences (now Corteva) and MS Technologies, officially launching E3 beans for 2019.
Why was this surprise so exciting? We now have a bean to go with a great tank mix partner that gives farmers more logistical options. The Enlist Duo or Enlist One formulations have fewer spraying restrictions and will give us better weed options over glyphosate or glufosinate alone.
Enlist E3 weed control system is not the 2,4-D formulation that we have been working with in the past. Traditionally we have been working with either the amines salt or ester. Enlist is a third formulation called choline which is much less volatile than the other two and is why the registration is only for the Enlist version of 2,4-D. Logistically, there are several advantages to the E3 system over other new forms of herbicide programs. Namely buffers: downwind buffers are smaller, and traditional row crops are not considered susceptible plants, allowing you to spray to the fence line if the wind is from the other direction. As for mixing, E3 offers two Enlist options, Enlist Duo which has 2,4-D and glyphosate in a convenient premix, and Enlist One which can be mixed with a load of glyphosate or glufosinate.
As I have said about all herbicides in previous articles, Enlist is no silver bullet. There are known resistant populations of waterhemp and palmer amaranth, although, not all those populations are in Iowa. While 2,4-D is a valuable tool and Enlist only makes this tool more valuable, we must continue to use good herbicide management practices. That means using the Enlist program in conjunction with overlapping residuals.
As we introduce Enlist, our excitement cannot be understated. The varieties that will be available will be very well-tested, well-known and will give us an additional tool to keep fields clean. It is better than what is currently available and certainly opens up more spraying options. While there are some resistance concerns, there shouldn’t be any more than there already is for any other herbicides.