As the 2010 production season kicks off, the “R” word is more popular than ever. It’s “residuals” – as in residual herbicides.
In the March Web Poll, we asked our readers if they planned to include a residual herbicide in their 2010 weed control programs, and an overwhelming 80 percent replied, “Yes.”
For various reasons, eight percent of those who voted did not plan to include residuals in their programs, and, for 12 percent of the respondents, the jury was still out as they chose the option “It depends.”
Before the 2009 growing season began last year, consultants in the Southeast and Mid-South were encouraging producers to diversify their weed control programs.
North Carolina crop consultant Danny Pierce said cotton producers in his area need to use a pre-plant incorporated or pre-emergence herbicide to control glyphosate-resistant pigweed.
“If the herbicide application is going out behind the planter, they typically use Cotoran, Direx or Reflex,” he said. “Reflex generally works best for us.”
Louisiana crop consultant Roger Carter agreed that weed control should be a primary concern.
“Farmers who have yet to apply a grass and pigweed residual herbicide, such as Dual II or its equivalent, should do so by the fourth true leaf,” he said. “The necessary applications of glyphosate for Roundup Ready cotton should also be made.
“Most farmers are opting to add Staple LX to the first or second application of over-the-top glyphosate to control weeds on which glyphosate is less effective – teaweed, sesbania, morningglory, etc. Staple LX also has some pre-emerge activity on many weed species and can extend residual control if two applications of the lighter rates are used back to back.”
The Louisiana consultant noted that Envoke is another option for over-the-top herbicide applications once cotton passes the fourth true leaf.
“This herbicide is weak on teaweed, but offers superior morningglory control,” he said.
Clay Despain, who consults in Poinsett County, Ark., said more and more cotton producers in his area are using residual herbicides to control two of their most troublesome weeds – horseweed and Palmer pigweed. They also tried something new last year – mixing First Shot with a dicamba and glyphosate burndown to get added control of henbit, which seems to be a host for spider mites.
“We want our fields to be as clean as possible when we plant,” Despain said. “That’s why we are going with a two-shot burndown program to clean up the field as early as we can, then come back in and make an application of Gramoxone and Direx or Gramoxone and Reflex pre-emerge.”
As for cotton producers’ thoughts for the 2010 season, following is a sampling of the comments from our readers who participated in the March Web Poll, which addressed the topic of using residual herbicides.
Although many other remarks were posted, these two are representative of the collective thoughts that were shared by those who voted.
• “A residual product has become a necessity rather than an option.”
• “I can barely afford the seed. A residual herbicide only adds to the expense. I will have to live with some weeds this year.”
In the May Web Poll, we are moving into the regulatory arena. We are asking our readers to choose what they think is the regulatory issue that should be top priority for the industry. The choices listed are currently being aggressively addressed by the National Cotton Council.
To cast your vote and share your comments, go to the Web Poll section that is housed on www.cottonfarming.com. The results of the May poll will be reported in the Cotton Farming July issue.
Web Poll Results
In March, we asked: As weed control continues to be a hot topic, do you plan to include a residual herbicide in your 2010 program?
• Yes — 80 %
• No — 8 %
• It Depends — 12 %
May Web Poll Question
Which of the following regulatory issues do you think should be top priority for the cotton industry?
(1) The regulation of greenhouse gases by EPA under the Clean Air Act
(2) The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination permit required under the Clean Water Act.
(3) OSHA’s proposed regulation of combustible dust in the work place.
Register your vote