Combinations of popular herbicides like glyphosate, glufosinate, 2,4-D and dicamba will be making their way into the market place in the next few years, and while these new products will be a boon to many farmers, the side effects can likewise be an economic liability if these lethal combinations are not used correctly.

Virginia Tech Researcher and Cotton Specialist Hunter Frame says much of the impetus will be on farmers to fully understand the restrictions that will be placed on use of these valuable new products.

Though the first of these materials won’t likely be available until the 2015 growing season, Frame says it’s important for researchers and growers to plan for these combinations of herbicides long before they get to the marketplace.

“One of the issues that concerns me is the use of generic herbicide materials over-the-top with the new herbicide traits. A system is going to have to be in place to ensure growers are using the right formulations with the new genetic traits,” Frame says.

“The older materials are more prone to move off the target fields. So if a grower uses an older formulation of dicamba or 2,4-D we still have the same drift and volatility issues, though the resistant crop will show no injury,” he adds.

A regional area of concern is with North Carolina and Virginia’s burgeoning grape and wine-producing industry. Vineyard and winery owners, plus a small, but growing, cottage industry of grape growers who produce for use by local wineries, have expressed concern over the increase in use of 2,4-D and dicamba when these new products come onto the  market.