Key Issues Perspective: Herbicide injury to corn unacceptable
He said, “Bayer CropScience currently has three commercialized safeners, and we have others that are not on the market yet as we are testing them trying to find the right marriage of herbicide and crop.”
“The safener increases the plant’s production of some key enzymes that break down herbicides and this speeds up the metabolization of the herbicide. In most cases when we see crop injury from a postemergence herbicide, there were some environmental or adverse conditions that didn’t allow the plant to break it down rapidly enough. Having the safener there ensures that this slow down doesn’t happen.”
A slow down in metabolization doesn’t always have to be leaf damage; it can be things such as stalks susceptible to brittle snap or bottleneck shaped ears, which aren’t immediately seen after a herbicide application, Bohanan noted.
He said, “Even if a herbicide shows 95 percent crop safety, why not shoot for 100 percent safety, which is what we’re doing by adding a safener.”