Monsanto recently received Chinese approval for Roundup Ready Xtend soybeans and is selling the variety for the 2016 season. That's great news for some farmers--but also mighty complicated for many. Why? Because the new, over-the-top use of dicamba for these Roundup Ready Xtend crops has not been approved.
What does that mean for your Roundup Ready Xtend crops? You can still buy these seeds, but just don’t plan to use the recommended herbicide, dicamba, to control weeds--at least right now. “We’re not sure whether approved federal and state labels will be granted in time to allow application of dicamba-containing products on these varieties during the early portion of--or perhaps even much of--the 2016 growing season,” explains Aaron Hager, University of Illinois associate professor of weed science.
Because there are no federal or state labels that allow dicamba application pre- or post-emergence, so any farmer or applicator found using the product in this way would be breaking federal and state laws.
What is a farmer to do? Well, you can’t use dicamba pre-emergence (at planting), but you can use it prior to planting. “Remember, this type of application must follow the herbicide label guidelines regardless of the soybean variety planted,” Hager says.
While you wait for more information regarding federal and state approval of the new over-the-top use of dicamba, you'll want to start planning out what you can do to fight weeds in your fields.
“The most sustainable solution to the challenges of herbicide-resistant weeds is an integrated weed management system,” Hager says. “Utilize both chemical and non-chemical tactics to eliminate weed seed production throughout the growing season.”