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Weed Management Optimism

Special Report

Texas Cotton Farmer Encouraged By Initial Experience With Herbicide-Tolerant Trait System

For too long, cotton farmers in some parts of Texas have been frustrated trying to manage herbicide-resistant careless weed, waterhemp, marestail and giant ragweed. This season offered them the chance to put a new herbicide-tolerant trait system to work, and many approve of what they’ve seen.

In the Brazos River Bottom, Terrell Farms used XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology both pre-emerge and post-emergence, stirring optimism about effectively controlling resistant careless weed in the 100-plus-year-old operation.

Mac Kutzenberger, who farms in Navasota, Texas, says so far this season new herbicide technology has provided good weed control.

“So far, weed control has been phenomenal, and we have one of the cleanest crops we’ve had in a long time,” says farm manager Mac Kutzenberger. “Last year in late May, I felt horrible due to the weed pressure in some of our fields. In my honest opinion, this system is working. You may see minor crop response from the application of XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology, but the reward in control is worth it.”

Pre-emerge Control Strategy
Impressed with performance data from 2016, Kutzenberger planted most of the farm’s 3,000 acres to DP 1646 B2XF and DP 1725 B2XF. The fields were burned down 25 days before planting with an application of 32 ounces of Roundup PowerMAX and 16 ounces of Caparol herbicides.

Cotton planting began April 25, and a pre-emerge application of 22 ounces of XtendiMax, 32 ounces of Roundup PowerMAX, 50.8 ounces of Warrant Ultra Herbicide and 16 ounces of Caparol was made.

“I realized up front that we needed major pre-emerge control in many of our fields,” Kutzenberger says. “A few careless weed started to come up after the burndown, and I did not want to take any risks. “I wanted a residual lasting 30 to 40 days. I looked at a lot of data in making this decision and would not trade that decision for anything. Weather can determine how long residuals work in the field, and this residual application held for 36 days.”

Pay Attention To Details
A post-emergence application of 22 ounces of XtendiMax plus 32 ounces of Roundup PowerMAX was made on May 19 (approximately 36 days after planting), using a John Deere self-propelled 4038 sprayer with a 1,000-gallon tank, 100-foot boom and TeeJet TTI 110004 nozzles. The sprayer ran 15 mph, with 35 to 42 pounds of pressure.

Warm temperatures and ample moisture had careless weed and grasses sprouting in fields before the in-crop spray.
“I think we got the ideal droplet size,” Kutzenberger says. “I made my living once off custom application, and today I farm my own acres. Pressure, speed, droplet size and coverage are big focus points for me when spraying. I am always aware of wind speed and direction, and what crops are planted around our fields.”

Cotton varieties with XtendFlex technology have also allowed Kutzenberger to change his pasture weed control practice to spraying dicamba in the spring without risking drift damage to the cotton crop.

“Drive down the road and take a look at our cotton fields,” Kutzenberger says. “I am a believer in this system. We went into this year skeptical because of the weed pressure we’ve had, but so far, we are very pleased.

“Also, when we follow the Monsanto Roundup Ready PLUS Crop Management Solutions, we get a better deal on a dollar-per-acre basis. We believe we get more bang for our buck with this system.”

Monsanto Company contributed this article.