Faced with the challenge of glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth pigweed, many Southern farmers have looked to alternative soybean systems of not using any glyphosate as a possible solution, but Monsanto isn’t ready to throw in the towel.

A soybean systems trial program conducted by Monsanto in the Delta this growing season demonstrated that farmers who plant Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans and utilize Monsanto’s Roundup Ready PLUS Weed Management Solutions, which emphasizing the use of residual herbicides in combination with Roundup brand agricultural herbicides as the foundation of a weed control program, can have just as clean, or even cleaner, fields than other systems and potentially higher yield, according to the company.

Tony White, Monsanto soybean traits product development manager, announced that the Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybean system had an average yield advantage of 6 bushels per acre compared with their competitors’ system in the small trial program conducted by the company.  Results were based on 20 farmer side-by-side plot locations in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky and the Missouri Bootheel during 2012. There was no third-party, outside evaluator for confirmation of proper technique and timing of the weed control programs followed by farmers.

“This soybean systems comparison proves that farmers don’t have to sacrifice yield to achieve effective weed control,” White said. “By planting high-yielding Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybean varieties and following Roundup Ready PLUS weed management recommendations, farmers can successfully control tough weeds, including pigweed, and maximize their yield opportunity.”

White noted at current soybean prices of about $15 per bushel, that 6-bushel-per-acre yield advantage equals additional revenue of $90 per acre for the Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield system versus the targeted competitor herbicide/seed trait system of LibertyLink. 

High soybean yields were possible in the Delta this past year as the drought wasn’t hard-hitting. Participating farmers said they were impressed with the weed control and yield results.

“I had a very clean crop,” said Gerald Malin Jr., of Campbell, Mo., who reported more beans per pod and an average 72 bushel-per-acre yield with his Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans. “I didn’t have any trouble with pigweed. I feel like you’ve got to have a residual herbicide program to keep your beans clean.”

Jesse Flye, who farms in Trumann, Ark., said his Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans had an average yield of 69 bushels per acre. “We’ve done a very good job with pigweed control this year, and I think it is possible to control pigweed and have the higher yield,” Flye said. “The high yield really showed up in Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans – no doubt.”  

White said for 2013, the side-by-side trial program will be expanded to the central Midwest, where many farmers are facing challenges with waterhemp and marestail. Trial plots are planned in eastern Kansas, central Missouri, southern Illinois, southern Indiana and Ohio.