Kylie Epperson and her husband are fifth-generation farmers raising corn, soybeans, hogs and kids in Northeast Missouri. She joined Inputs & Insights this month to share her experience using the Enlist™ weed control system in 2020 and tips for helping growers feel confident in making the switch.
Wow! What a growing season! 2020 has proved to be as challenging as ever unexpected weather events, variable commodity prices, changes in herbicide regulations and so much more, all of which made growers examine every aspect of their production to ensure success in areas under their control.
One area farmers do have control over is their seed selection paired with an effective herbicide program that offers flexibility and that is easy and safe to apply. The Enlist™ weed control system offers just that – a safe, easy to use, flexible herbicide system that enables farmers, with the reassurance and resource of the retailer, to customize a weed control program to fit each individual field. Here are the questions that were on our minds as we considered moving to the Enlist system - questions you may need to answer to help your customers feel confident in making a change.
- Will Enlist Herbicides Give Us the Flexibility We Need?
On our farm, located in Northeast Missouri, we have been growing corn and soybeans for over 40+ years, but it was only in the last two years that we started spraying our own row crops. Between the pressure of EPA regulations and tank mixing/spraying our own crops, we were on the hunt for a herbicide program that offered flexibility and enabled us to confidently mix and apply the herbicide to terminate unwanted weeds.
The spring of 2019 was a tough weather year in our area. The continued cool, wet weather kept us out of the fields planting and delayed our spraying by more than we wanted; thus, we were on the search for another option to add to our herbicide portfolio. Because the Enlist™ system has flexibility in spray dates, we were much less pressured than other competitive herbicide systems we have used in the past. In addition to the flexibility in spray dates, after chatting with our chemical retailer and agronomist, we decided to spray the Enlist One® herbicide with glyphosate. We valued the additional options of adding in Liberty® herbicide to defeat the toughest weeds, should we have needed it. The Enlist™ system's flexibility to choose a mode of action to manage weed resistance is a winning combination for any farmer looking to effectively manage weed control.
- How Will Spraying Enlist Herbicides Affect Neighboring Fields?
As the wife and worrier of our farming partnership, I am always concerned with drift and volatility of the herbicide used. I, like many other farmers, never want to harm a neighbor's hard work because of an issue we could have controlled. I was so relieved to learn that the Enlist™ system has near-zero volatility and reduced drift potential – yes – major selling point for this system!
- Can I Trust That the Enlist System Will Take Down My Toughest Weeds?
We take great pride in having clean, weed-free fields throughout the growing season. Tough weed pressure can affect yield and make harvest difficult. Each year we use the same herbicide program, the weeds on that field become more resistant to the chemical being applied. Thus, being open-minded to change herbicide programs is relevant for our farm to continue to suppress and beat the ever-changing weed dynamics. The Enlist™ system mix, of which we chose Enlist One® + glyphosate, was outstanding on stifling the waist high water hemp that had snuck in around the edges of our fields until the beans canopied and snuffed them out completely. As for the smaller, more maintainable weeds, the Enlist™ system mix we applied postemergence kept our field looking clean for the rest of the summer. This mix worked for us this year, and a major benefit of the Enlist™ system is the ability to add in or change tank mix partners to continue to beat stubborn weeds that become resistant to current methods.
- Will Enlist E3® Soybeans Produce the Yield I Need?
We can talk about herbicide programs on their own all day long, but yield is one of the most important driving factors when we make any decision on our farm. Frankly, yield is king. Using the yield totals from the scales and combine, we are able to confidently market our grain and plan for the year ahead. So, when making a big switch, particularly to the Enlist™ system that we were not familiar with, the first question we asked was regarding the yield potential, with direct questions about plot and research data.
Our local Corteva team was able to assist us by providing yield data from comparative field conditions, thanks to both Corteva research facilities and field trial data. Additionally, our local team helped us choose the right variety for our soil type, which can be very different from field to field in our neck of the Midwest. Our overall yield for our Enlist E3® soybean field was 62 bushels to the acre, 10 bu/a better than the soybeans with the LibertyLink® gene planted within two days on either side of the Enlist field plant date. I can confidently contribute the above average yield to the appropriate timing and application of the Enlist™ herbicide, recommended and guided by our local Corteva team.
- Will I Get the Support I Need While Making This Major Change on My Farm?
Farming, as you well know, is so much more than a farmer cultivating the land, planting seeds, watching them grow and harvesting the crop. As farmers, we rely heavily on our relationships with outside partners that enable us to confidently, sustainably, and economically grow a hearty crop on our land. Seed and chemical selection are at the forefront of important decisions made on our farm, and when we make these decisions we immediately look to the trusted professionals for input.
We have consistently experienced incredible customer service, local knowledge and dedication from our local agribusiness partners. . And so, it was an easy decision to trust our local seed dealer, local agronomist and chemical retailer to help us choose the right Enlist E3 soybean variety and pair it with the right Enlist™ herbicide to take control of the tough weeds on our farm. In addition to making the choice to use the Enlist™ system, all our partnering companies checked on our growing progress with a phone call, text message and/or visit throughout the year, which means wonders to our farm.
Start Equipping Customers Now
Will we trust the Enlist™ system to tackle tough weeds on our farm next season? The simple answer is yes. Farmers have so many day-to-day jobs on the farm that they are looking outward to the professionals to help them make decisions. In order to influence your customers to make the switch to the Enlist™ system, start the conversation now, when farmers are making seed selection decisions. Be excited and have the knowledge and data to back up your recommendation. As the retailer, you are the expert and the one we will call when we have a question regarding mixing and application of the product. Come to the conversation equipped with research and plot data to back up your enthusiasm about the product. With the help of our trusted local retail team, including our seed dealer, agronomist and chemical retailer, we feel confident with our decision to continue our relationship with the Enlist™ system in the 2021 growing season.
™ ® Trademarks of Corteva Agriscience and its affiliated companies. The transgenic soybean event in Enlist E3® soybeans is jointly developed and owned by Dow AgroSciences LLC and MS Technologies LLC. Enlist One and Enlist Duo herbicides are not registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Enlist One and Enlist Duo herbicides are the only 2,4-D products authorized for use with Enlist crops. Always read and follow label directions. © 2020 Corteva.
Varieties with the LibertyLink® gene (LL) are resistant to Liberty® herbicide.
Liberty®, LibertyLink® and the Water Droplet Design are trademarks of BASF.