The trend is for glyphosate-resistant and hard-to-control weeds to spread fast and probably continue to spread at an even faster rate without new state-of-the-art solutions, which Dow AgroSciences contends should include the Enlist Weed Control System that is pending registration.

Genetically modified crops resistant to 2,4-D, and specifically 2,4-D products utilizing new Colex-D formulation technology providing ultra-low volatility and reduced drift, can be an answer to helping farmers fight resistant weeds and slow the spread of resistance, if these products can make it through the regulatory process in the near future.

Dow AgroSciences is obviously committed to informing and educating on the use of the Enlist GM crops and the new 2,4-D formulation, while the USDA conducts its announced environmental impact statement (EIS) to give decision-makers on registration more insight. The USDA issued a news release last week explaining that the EIS would take place and noted another 60-day round of public comments will be allowed.

Dow has put in place education and information programs that are referenced to as “field-based” for this summer, but because of the late spring, many of those field-based programs might not be completed prior to the public comment period ending. Obviously, positive public comments are needed to counter the minority, but vocal, anti-GM crowd.      

“Dow is opening five technology centers this year dedicated to Enlist and the Enlist 360 learning series in the Midwest and the South. Growers, retailers and seed sellers can take part in interactive, field-based training designed to familiarize them with all aspects of the Enlist technology, from product performance, to application and best management practices,” the company announced.

“This year, Dow AgroSciences also intends to offer Enlist plots at seed company and retailer locations across the Corn Belt. Additionally, plans are underway to allow evaluation of farmer-experience plots, providing farmers an opportunity to manage the technology and observe control of tough weed species on their farm,” the company further explained.

“Four years ago, Dow began submissions of a robust and thorough data package to support the Enlist traits. Since that time, glyphosate-resistant and hard-to-control weeds have spread across our nation’s farmland. Twenty-five states are now affected and the number of new acres infested in 2012 increased by 50 percent over the previous year,” Dow explained as it also contended it is working as cooperatively as possible with USDA/APHIS to get the Enlist technologies approved for commercial use as soon as possible.

Dow further expressed a view of optimism, “As noted by USDA, in today’s [May 10] announcement, the herbicides in question have been ‘safely and widely used across the country since the 1960s’ and these new crop traits ‘would provide farmers the flexibility for new applications of these herbicides, while also offering farmers additional crop planting options.’”

Dicamba-resistant GM crops developed by Monsanto are also under review for registration with an EIS to be conducted for those crops, too.