Dicamba drift incidents in Arkansas result in new regulations, steep fines

In Delta Farm Press

by David Bennett, Delta Farm Press

Faced with numerous fields hit with off-target dicamba drift, the Arkansas State Plant Board will soon consider a wide range of options to curb the problem. Illegal over-the-top use of dicamba on Xtend soybeans has harmed many Mid-South crops.

On Monday (August 8), the board’s Pesticide Committee passed several proposals that will now go to the full Plant Board for consideration. Continue reading

Mid-South soybean farmers learning about consequences of not following label

In Delta Farm Press

by David Bennett, Delta Farm Press

When Monsanto’s Xtend soybeans were approved for planting this season, many applauded the move. After all, the technology means crops can be sprayed with dicamba and weeds are only becoming tougher to control. There was a huge caveat, though: while the seed could be planted, new, less volatile formulations of dicamba were not approved.

In the run up to planting, Mid-South growers were repeatedly warned over-the-top applications of available dicamba products would not be allowed. Even so, state officials fretted improper spraying would happen following a 2015 growing season when “some individuals — a very small group — used a dicamba product not labeled for this seed,” said Susie Nichols at the Arkansas State Plant Board in April. “That’s a big worry for the Plant Board; there’s a lot of Xtend soybean seed in the state. We’ve tried to let everyone know it’s a violation to use any dicamba product on this technology because none is labeled for this use. Continue reading

Mississippi researchers receive grant to research corn earworm

In Delta Farm Press

Jeff Gore, research entomologist at Mississippi State University’s Delta Research and Extension Center, is one of six scientists who have been selected to receive grants through Monsanto’s Insect Management Knowledge Program.

The program, which started in 2013 as the Corn Rootworm Knowledge Program, provides merit-based awards of up to $250,000 per award per year for up to three years for research that the company says “will not only enhance the collective understanding of insect management but help address significant challenges in agriculture.”

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USDA announces deregulation of dicamba-tolerant trait in cotton and soybeans

In Delta Farm Press

USDA’s decision to deregulate the dicamba-tolerant trait in cotton and soybeans moves farmers a step closer to having a new tool for controlling Palmer amaranth and other economically troublesome weeds.

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Growers still need IPM with new herbicides

From Southeast Farm Press

Growers have been chomping at the bit for something to tame herbicide-resistant Palmer amaranth, or pigweed, marestail and other worrisome weeds. The technology is finally within reach.

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Invader Batters Rural America, Shrugging Off Herbicides

In the New York Times, August 11, 2014

By Michael Wines

The Terminator — that relentless, seemingly indestructible villain of the 1980s action movie — is back. And he is living amid the soybeans at Harper Brothers Farms.

About 100 miles northwest of Indianapolis, amid 8,000 lush acres farmed by Dave Harper, his brother Mike and their sons, the Arnold Schwarzenegger of weeds refuses to die. Three growing seasons after surfacing in a single field, it is a daily presence in a quarter of the Harper spread and has a foothold in a third more. Its oval leaves and spindly seed heads blanket roadsides and jut above orderly soybean rows like skyscrapers poking through cloud banks. It shrugs off extreme drought and heat. At up to six inches in diameter, its stalk is thick enough to damage farm equipment.

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New nematode resistant cotton helps yield

In Delta Farm Press

Root-knot nematode populations can vary significantly across a cotton field. Thus a farmer might not need root-knot-nematode protection on every square foot of cotton he grows.

He does want all of the cotton to yield, however, and that’s what Monsanto plant breeders were trying to achieve when they began preparing Deltapine 1454 NR B2RF and other root-knot-nematode resistant cotton varieties for release.

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