Monsanto Broadens Roundup Ready Plus Platform

Monsanto has expanded its popular Roundup Ready PLUS Weed Management Solutions platform to include two more post-emergence herbicides for use in soybeans. These additional options are highly effective on tough-to-control weeds, such as waterhemp and Palmer amaranth pigweed.

According to Dr. Rick Cole, Weed Management Technical Lead for Monsanto, Midwestern soybean growers are becoming increasingly aware of the threat of weed resistance to various herbicides, and the best way to manage weed resistance is to use residual herbicides this spring.

“Farmers need to be proactive in taking steps now to manage establishment of tough-to-control weeds, including those resistant to glyphosate or other types of herbicide chemistries,” Cole says. “This is true whether they have experienced weed resistance or not.”

The additional post-emergence herbicides for Roundup Ready PLUS in 2012 include Cobra and Flexstar. Monsanto says Cobra is an excellent fit for northern states due to its activity on waterhemp, while Flexstar will be offered for use in the Mid-South region of Arkansas, Mississippi and west Tennessee because of its efficacy against Palmer amaranth pigweed.

Listening To Customers

“We listened to our customers, who were concerned about what options farmers might have to fall back on if there wasn’t sufficient rain to activate our lineup of pre-plant and pre-emergence residual herbicides,” Cole says. “In the event of dry conditions, growers will now have more post-emergence residual herbicide options in soybeans.”

Developed in conjunction with leading academics, agronomists and other industry partners, the Roundup Ready PLUS platform offers recommendations and incentives for control of glyphosate-resistant and other tough weeds, such as those that are resistant to multiple herbicide chemistries. Monsanto’s Roundup Ready PLUS Weed-Management Solutions platform offers financial incentives to soybean growers of up to $10 per acre to use selected pre-emergence and post-emergence residual herbicides.

“It has been proven through research that soybean growers can realize a two- to three-bushel-per-acre greater yield when weed management programs include use of residual herbicides,” Cole adds.  “That is significant extra income that provides farmers with a greater return on investment, especially when soybeans are priced up to $12 per bushel.”

Multiple Modes Of Action, Timing Critical

These recommendations focus on use of multiple herbicide modes of action as the best way to combat herbicide-resistant weeds and prevent their spread. “Regardless of what tillage system is being used – or whether farmers have herbicide-resistant weeds on their land or not – it is best to rely on planned and proactive use of residual herbicides,” Cole emphasizes. “Besides doing this as an effective hedge against development and spread of resistant weeds, use of residual herbicides provides farmers with greater flexibility to manage weeds later in the growing season by reducing weed populations that emerge, and by managing tough-to-control, small-seeded broadleaf weeds early in the season when they are small and most vulnerable to herbicide treatments.”

Cole reminds Midwest soybean growers that waterhemp is already becoming resistant to multiple herbicide chemistries, which makes it even more important to use and rotate different modes of action to ensure control and slow the development of further resistance. “Fighting the spread of herbicide-resistant weeds is necessary to preserve important herbicide technologies and chemistries,” he adds.

Residual herbicides for soybeans covered under the Roundup Ready PLUS platform financial incentives include Warrant Herbicide,  Flexstar, Authority XL, Authority Assist, Authority First and Authority MTZ, Cobra, Gangster, Phoenix, Select Max, Valor, and Valor XLT.

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