In other cotton developments in Alabama, glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth pigweed continues its march across the state, and the result will be that cotton production will be more expensive, says recently retired Extension Weed Scientist Mike Patterson.

Two new systems are on the horizon that’ll help with resistant pigweed, he says.

“Dow has the Enlist system, which is a 2,4-D-tolerant program for soybeans and cotton.

“The other new program is Xtend, a dicamba-tolerant cotton from Monsanto. It’s a pretty good trick to develop cotton that is tolerant to these materials because historically, they both have been deadly to the cotton plant,” says Patterson.

Both companies, he adds, are developing proprietary chemistry to use with their technology.

“If you buy Enlist cotton from Dow, you’ll also have to buy their version of 2,4-D to use on it. You can’t just go to the farmers’ co-op and buy a generic version of 2,4-D.

“Xtend also will have a proprietary  chemistry. These proprietary chemistries essentially will be non-volatile. But they still will be susceptible to drift, and the labels will concentrate on the management of drift.

“That is very important with this chemistry, because sometimes Roundup or an insecticide may drift from your sprayer to someone’s house onto shrubbery, and you may not pick it up because people are not accustomed to looking.

“But if 2,4-D hits an azalea or a tomato, even an amateur will know what that looks like, and they’ll start asking questions,” he says.

One year of trials showed these chemistries can be effective on resistant Palmer amaranth pigweed, he says.

“If we don’t use these materials as a pre-emergence — and it’s the same way with the current technology — and try to control resistant pigweed with just a postemergence treatment, it won’t work that well,” says Patterson.

These are not magic bullets, he warns, and they will not totally solve the resistant pigweed problem.

“It’s just another tool you can use. There will be baggage associated with these programs, and that’s related to off-site movement. Even though the 2,4-D may not be volatile, it’s still susceptible to drift.

“Any chemistry sprayed through a boom is susceptible to drift.

“The labels on these proprietary chemistries will almost certainly require that you use a specific nozzle which will produce a coarse droplet. Depending on the speed of your rig, the height of the boom, and other factors, you’ll have to select a nozzle that’ll produce a coarse droplet.”

(For other news from Auburn University, see http://www.ag.auburn.edu/).

phollis@farmpress.com

 

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