Farmers Find Dow’s Enlist Duo Limits Drift Concerns

Tomatoes on the left show no signs of damage after Enlist Duo was applied to soybean rows on the right.

As farmers adopt new herbicide technologies in 2017, excellent weed control is not enough. They also are looking for a herbicide solution that stays on target and limits the risk of damaging neighboring plants and crops with less drift and near-zero volatility.  

Enlist Duo herbicide, a combination of glyphosate and new 2,4-D choline, features Colex-D technology. This formulation helps Enlist Duo stay on target and can successfully limit the danger of harmful off-target movement when label instructions are followed correctly. In real-world applications across the Corn Belt and the South over the last two years, there have been no reports of off-target movement of Enlist Duo damaging neighboring crops.

Trey Koger, a Mississippi cotton farmer who has planted a grower research plot of Enlist cotton, emphasizes the need to be aware.

“We have a wide array of crops in Mississippi,” Koger says. “In our area, we have cotton, corn, soybeans, rice, peanuts, sweet potatoes and sorghum. In addition we have pecan and other trees, gardens and flower beds. All of these can be susceptible to off-target movement of herbicides.”

Koger says it’s essential to know what’s growing in your area, especially any susceptible vegetation downwind. Then it’s a matter of following the label to avoid any impact on neighboring plants –  “if you do it right, you reduce the chance of any problems.”

Producers of specialty crops are also interested in how Enlist Duo performs compared with other herbicides currently in use. Dow AgroSciences worked with Indiana-based Red Gold to understand the impact of off-target movement. Red Gold provided tomato plants for field trials to assess the performance of Enlist Duo herbicide near susceptible plants. These trials have helped put concerns about drift and volatility to rest.

“In the past, tomato growers have had negative experiences with off-target herbicide movement,” says Steve Smith, director of agriculture at Red Gold, Inc., producers of premium quality tomato products. “They’re concerned about any pesticide that may damage their crop.”

“I got a first-hand look at Enlist Duo in lab and field work,” Smith says. “It was really impressive. It’s not the old 2,4-D. Dow has a formulation that limits volatility.”

This lack of drift and near-zero volatility with Enlist Duo is winning over farmers like Minnesotan Pat Duncanson, who says “Growers can control drift by choosing the right conditions, the proper nozzles, boom height and so on. But we can’t control the weather after application. The only way to control volatility is to choose a herbicide with extremely low volatility.”

“I’ve seen how stable the Enlist Duo platform is,” says Duncanson, who has attended demonstrations and test plots. He also has tried the Enlist system on his own farm. “Enlist Duo will stay where you put it.”

And, Gold’s Smith is sold on the lack of herbicide movement.

“We’re confident the volatility problems we see in other herbicides should be avoided with Enlist Duo,” he says. “If the applicator follows the label, there should be no movement. I can’t say that about other herbicide formulations so far. They don’t have the same safety considerations we believe Enlist Duo offers.”

Smith saw the precision of Enlist Duo during trials that placed Red Gold tomatoes next to Enlist soybeans. Enlist Duo was sprayed right next to the tomatoes, and there was no impact on the tomato plants. This collaboration helped show how effective Enlist Duo is at staying on target.

“I was very appreciative of how Dow went about working with us and understanding our concerns,” Smith says. “They opened a dialog. That’s not normal anymore. I am very appreciative of how Dow AgroSciences is doing business.”

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