Herbicides: Targeting Profit

As crop protection products come into the marketplace, it’s up to ag retailers to help sort through the new options available for their grower-customers’ field management toolbox. This includes studying the results of manufacturer, Extension, and retailers’ own field trials, all geared to improving yields and growing profits.

“By bringing growers the next generation of control against tough weeds, we can ultimately help them increase their bottom line,” says Jeff Springsteen, Bayer CropScience product manager for selective corn and soybean herbicides.

This month, the focus is on new corn and soybean herbicides.

Control In Corn

The newest corn herbicides include:

Balance Flexx (isoxaflutole) from Bayer CropScience is an early-season preemergence corn herbicide designed to protect yields from the start. It provides broadspectrum control of more than 50 grass and broadleaf weeds on contact, including resistant weeds, and then is reactivated by a half-inch or more of rain to kill late-emerging weeds in field corn, corn grown for silage, and on tolerant seed-corn inbreds.

2010 Label Changes
 Product  Company  Label Change(s)
 Laudis Bayer CropScience Rotation to sugarbeets and certain dry beans reduced to 10 months
May be used with high surfactant oil concentrates
Waiting period for second application reduced to 7 days 
 ET Nichino America, Inc. Now registered for use at planting, postemergence, and up to when the second leaf collar is visible in corn or the second triplicate in soybeans
 Vida Gowan Co., LLC Marketing agreement with Nichino America, Inc. allows Gowan to market in U.S.

Crop Safety Innovation (CSI) Safener technology makes it flexible and safe enough to be applied from burndown or preplant through the V2 growth stage on any soil type, including sandy soils.

“In our 2008 trials, we saw it take down some of the field’s toughest weeds, including kochia and woolly cupgrass, while still providing excellent crop safety,” says Brent Philbrook, product development manager.

Callisto Xtra (mesotrione + atrazine) from Syngenta Crop Protection is expected to receive EPA registration in time for the 2010 season. The postemergence corn herbicide delivers initial and long lasting residual broadleaf weed control in a convenient premix formulation, may be tank-mixed with glyphosate in glyphosate-tolerant corn, and offers resistant weed management control.

Capreno (thiencarbazone-methyl + tembotrione), also new from Bayer CropScience, is a selective corn herbicide that provides one-pass postemergence control, yet is flexible enough to fit into a traditional two-pass herbicide program.

Two modes of action offer a complete spectrum of grass and broadleaf weed control, including those resistant to glyphosate, with the added benefit of reliable residual control up to canopy. “In fact, Capreno provides longer residual control than the leading postemergence herbicides currently on the market,” says Bayer CropSciences’ Springsteen.

Growers in Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin will have access to limited supplies of Capreno in 2010; full launch is expected in 2011.

Corvus (thiencarbazone-methyl + isoxaflutole) from Bayer CropScience offers consistent, one-pass weed control. Two modes of action provide rapid burndown, residual, and reactivation power against more than 50 weeds, including many resistant and tough-to-control weeds. The CSI Safener technology is active in both pre and early post applications.

A half-inch of rain can reactivate Corvus, even after a dry period. Its WeatherShield enables it to control weeds up to 2 inches in early-season corn. “In our 2008 trials, we saw that Corvus was very competitive during the rainy season,” says Philbook. “When we measured it against other products, Corvus kept fields clean through crop canopy closure.”

It was available on a limited basis in 2009.

Integrity (saflufenecil + dimethenamid-p) from BASF is one of several products utilizing BASF’s new Kixor technology, each targeting specific crops, weeds, and regions in the U.S. Integrity can be used alone or mixed with glyphosate and is applied preplant for fast and complete burndown of more than 80 dicot weeds, including resistant biotypes. It also can be used as a preemergence treatment in corn to control all major dicot weeds without triazine herbicides. It has fewer use restrictions than atrazine, provides ease of handling with its low use rate, and offers burndown and residual control, all in one product, according to BASF.

Prequel (rimsulfuron + isoxaflutole) from DuPont is a burndown plus residual corn herbicide that controls winter annuals, early spring grasses, and broadleaf weeds to help keep corn clean through the critical weed-free period. It is appropriate for use with a glyphosate program for pre- and early-season weed control.

New Soybean Stars

New products targeting soybeans include:

Tackle (imazethapyr + glyphosate) from Cheminova is a selective, post­emergence broadleaf herbicide that offers effective, flexible preplant burndown and postemergence control of annual and perennial grass and broadleaf weeds in Roundup Ready beans.

“Tackle will provide the effectiveness of glyphosate, along with the combined residual control of imazethapyr,” says Dr. Jim Barrentine, technical services director, adding that Tackle is very effective in no-till fields. No additional glyphosate has to be added to achieve effective control, and it can be tank-mixed with many residual grass herbicides for additional control.

OpTill (saflufenecil + imazethapyr) from BASF, part of the Kixor product line, offers fast, complete burndown plus residual weed control in soybeans, chickpeas, and peas when applied preplant through preemergence. OpTill controlled weeds three to five times faster than 2,4-D or glyphosate in field trials. It also offers preplant interval flexibility.

Double Coverage

New products approved for both corn and soybeans include:

Credit Xtreme (glyphosate) from Nufarm Americas Inc. is a new high-load glyphosate formulation approved for broadspectrum weed control of more than 100 annual and perennial grasses and broadleaf weeds in Roundup Ready crops including corn, soybeans, cotton, and sugarbeets, offered in limited quantities in 2009.

“Its low-viscosity, low-foam formulation makes it easier to handle, and we have proven its performance and crop safety with a substantial field trial investment over multiple seasons in the U.S.,” says Dr. Dunk Porterfield, product development manager. He adds that NuFarm’s patented Dual Salt Technology provides more active ingredient per gallon than traditional formulations so less product is applied per acre, and the product offers better compatibility with phenoxy herbicides than Roundup brands.

Sharpen (saflufenecil) from BASF, part of the Kixor product line, tackles tough broadleaf weeds in a number of crops, including corn, soybeans, cotton, and cereals. Field and row crop research has shown that Sharpen provides excellent burndown control when applied preplant and preemergence, according to BASF, and in field trials, Sharpen controlled weeds three to five times faster than 2,4-D or glyphosate.

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