As the growing season nears, glyphosate resistance is expected to once again be a key threat to crop yields in fields throughout the country. To kick off the 2012 Commodity Classic, BASF Crop Protection and industry experts presented research, innovations and techniques to help prepare growers for the future of weed control at the sixth annual “Science Behind” media symposium.

New innovations

The event provided media a closer look at the new innovation in development, Engenia herbicide, an advanced dicamba formulation with low-volatility characteristics for improved on-target application. Engenia will help control more than 100 of the annual broadleaf weeds that farmers are battling in their crops today, including glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth, waterhemp and marestail.

Field research has confirmed the advanced formulation will provide excellent efficacy and crop tolerance. As well, Engenia will be an important new tool in the fight against herbicide resistance, offering an additional herbicide site of action for post-emergence control of broadleaf weeds in dicamba-tolerant crops.

“As the industry leader, BASF is dedicated to providing solutions, technical support and educational tools to help growers implement a weed management program based on herbicide best practices,” said Paul Rea, vice president, U.S. Crop Protection, BASF. “We encourage growers to be proactive in their weed resistance management and to utilize herbicides with different sites of action. New advanced options like Engenia will be a key to success to help growers maximize yields and preserve their farmland for future generations.”

According to Steve Bowe, BASF Biology Group Leader, who presented the details during the media event, Engenia will be available for use with the dicamba-tolerant cropping system currently in development and is expected to be commercialized first in soybeans by mid-decade.

Experts outline future of weed control

Fifty percent of growers surveyed by BASF reported dealing with resistant weeds. With 13 different species of glyphosate-resistant weeds now in 27 states – and with an increasing number of weeds that have stacked resistance to multiple sites of action – the media symposium was an important event for delivering vital weed management information to the industry. Along with Rea and Bowe, event presenters included: Larry Steckel, Ph.D., University of Tennessee; Jeff Stachler, Ph.D., North Dakota State University/University of Minnesota; Bob Wolf, Ph.D., Wolf Consulting & Research; and Dan Westberg, Ph.D., BASF Technical Market Manager.

At the event, speakers highlighted the importance of utilizing multiple sites of action as a top best practice to manage existing resistant weed populations and reduce the likelihood of resistance development.

“I often tell our growers to think back to 2003, 2004. Those were the good old days for weed control. It is never going to be that simple again,” said Steckel. “We’ve lost glyphosate on a lot of these key weeds, so we need to use an integrated approach that includes cultural and chemical strategies – like using different herbicide sites of actions.”

Westberg noted that using multiple sites of action in a growing season is just one piece of the puzzle to complete weed management. Scouting, proper planning, and cultural and mechanical strategies should also be considered. In addition, on-target herbicide applications enhance the efficacy of herbicide applications.

To help educate growers on proper application technique, BASF is partnering with Wolf Consulting & Research to launch the On Target Application Academy, a one-of-a-kind, hands-on series of education training programs for growers. The On Target Application Academy is an opportunity for growers to learn herbicide application best practices that help mitigate spray drift and achieve the most effective weed control possible with today’s emerging product and equipment innovations.

“Herbicide applications require a lot of attention to detail,” said Wolf. “I’m proud to partner with BASF to give growers the knowledge and tools that will help them be the best stewards of their herbicides and fields that they can be.“

Partner in weed resistance management

BASF is a grower’s number one partner for managing weed resistance by providing more corn and soybean herbicide sites of action than any other crop protection company.

The launches of OpTill PRO herbicide and Armezon herbicide, as well as the advancement of Engenia herbicide and Zidua herbicide, demonstrate the commitment of BASF to provide growers with new chemistries and products to maximize their yield potential and proactively manage resistant weeds.

The BASF portfolio of herbicide products offers growers a variety of innovative solutions to address weed control challenges. These products include:

• OpTill PRO herbicide – a premium residual option (PRO) herbicide for use in soybean to battle grasses and broadleaf weeds, particularly glyphosate-resistant waterhemp and Palmer amaranth. OpTill PRO combines OpTill herbicide, powered by Kixor herbicide technology, with the same active ingredient as Outlook herbicide. Three sites of action provide growers with enhanced burndown and residual control of grasses and broadleaf weeds, such as glyphosate-resistant waterhemp, which emerges throughout the season.

• Armezon herbicide – a post-emerge herbicide solution for corn, Armezon controls problematic grasses and broadleaf weeds such as common lambsquarters, waterhemp, giant foxtail and crabgrass – including those with resistance to glyphosate, triazines, PPOs and ALS inhibitors. Armezon helps growers maximize their yields by controlling tough, yield-robbing weeds while being safe to all corn types.

• Engenia herbicide – an advanced formulation of dicamba under development for control of more than 100 annual broadleaf weeds found in crops. Engenia will provide a new tool for farmers battling herbicide-resistant weeds, like Palmer amaranth, waterhemp, ragweed and marestail. Engenia will be used with the dicamba-tolerant soybean system, currently in development. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval of Engenia is anticipated in a parallel time frame with commercialization of the dicamba-tolerant soybean system.

• Zidua herbicide – a new soil-applied herbicide, Zidua will be a new class of chemistry that allows growers to better protect their fields with long-lasting residual control of small-seeded broadleaf weeds and grasses, including problematic glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth and waterhemp. Initially, Zidua will be labeled for use in corn in 2012. Future label expansions will include uses in soybeans, as well as wheat.

• Kixor herbicide technology – offers complete, broad-spectrum control of more than 70 of the toughest broadleaf weeds, including ALS, triazine, and glyphosate-resistant biotypes. Kixor powers a family of unique products designed to maximize broadleaf control, providing a new weed management solution for more than 30 crops, including OpTill, OpTill PRO, Sharpen herbicide, Treevix herbicide and Verdict herbicide.

For more information on herbicide best practices, please visit http://agro.basf.us/stewardship/herbicide-best-practices.html