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New nitrogen stabilizer and herbicide system for crops

Dow AgroSciences is bringing products to market this fall that are more than just “new and improved”

Dow AgroSciences does have improved chemistry for weed control in wheat and barley, but along with that it is also introducing a whole new weed control system that includes ramped up genetics in corn and soybeans to improve weed control options in those crops. Along with that, DAS is introducing new-to-Canada nitrogen stabilizers that will improve the efficiency of anhydrous ammonia and liquid nitrogen.

Protects anhydrous

N-Serve, the nitrogen stabilizer that works with anhydrous ammonia and has been shown to increase yields, has been available in the United States for more than 30 years, says Dustin Leskosky with Dow AgroSciences (DAS). It will be introduced to Canada on a limited basis for a “focused launch” in the fall of 2014. Along with N-Serve for anhydrous ammonia, DAS is introducing a similar product called eNtrench that works with UAN liquid fertilizer.

N-Serve, which will likely have the broadest appeal among farmers, is applied at the same time as anhydrous ammonia (applicators are available from retailers) and works in the soil to slow the activity of the soil bacteria that convert ammonium to nitrites. It will be available from 16 retailers in Western Canada and 17 in Eastern Canada this fall.

“For a lot of producers in Western Canada, being able to get fertilizer on in the fall helps improve work flow, and can speed up field operations at spring seeding,” says Leskosky. “Anhydrous ammonia has been a popular form of nitrogen, although there is always concern about whether under certain conditions some of that nitrogen can be lost through leaching or a process known as denitrification.”

N-Serve, injected or incorporated into the soil as NH3 is applied works to slow the activity of the Nitrosomonas bacteria — a temperature sensitive soil bacteria— the converts ammonium to nitrites. By slowing this conversion the nitrogen stabilizer reduces the risk of loss due to leaching and denitrification so nitrogen stays in the root zone. Leskosky says experience in the U.S. has shown a seven per cent yield increase when N-Serve has been applied.

As much as 10 per cent of nitrogen can be lost to the atmosphere with just three days of very wet soil conditions and up to 50 pounds of nitrogen can be lost in a year through leaching.

“Research has shown a 16 per cent reduction in leaching when N-Serve has been applied,” says Leskosky. “ And because the product slows the activity of soil bacteria it also means that anhydrous ammonia can be applied up to two weeks earlier in the fall. Farmers don’t have to wait for cold conditions.”

New herbicide system

Dow AgroSciences is charting new territory with a new herbicide system that includes a genetics package for weed control in corn and soybeans in conjunction with a dual herbicide combination.

To create what is known as the Enlist Weed Control System, DAS scientists identified and developed the genetic trait that protects the crop from both glyphosate and 2,4-D herbicides. That trait has been introduced into lines of corn and soybeans developed and marketed by DAS’ own Hyland Seeds, but the company has also licensed the Enlist trait to Dupont Pioneer for soybeans and Monsanto for corn varieties.

“This is a first for us from the standpoint of developing a trait and a herbicide at the same time,” says Jeff Loessin, with DAS. “It required a real co-ordinated effort in our organization to bring both of them together from a development standpoint — setting out the criteria of what we were looking for from a trait and a herbicide and carrying that through to development.”

Crop varieties carrying the Enlist trait can be treated with Enlist Duo herbicide, which is a combination of glyphosate and new 2,4-D choline containing Colex-D Technology.

“Colex-D is patented technology which improves the ease of handling and use of the herbicide,” says Loessin. “Among the key features it provides low temperature storage stability, low drift, and low volatility. The Colex-D technology keeps the herbicide on target and where it is supposed to be, with much reduced risk of drift to any nearby susceptible crops.”

Loessin says research has shown Colex-D technology reduces physical drift by 45 per cent, and the volatility of the herbicide (movement in a vapor form) is reduced by 92 per cent. As well, Colex-D technology also greatly reduces herbicide odour.

While glyphosate is a very effective broad-spectrum herbicide, it does have weaknesses. More weed specialists these days are also recognizing the value of herbicide combinations in providing that one/two punch for more effective weed control.

Dow says Enlist Duo herbicide has been found effective against 70 broadleaf and grassy weeds including some of the most common weeds to Western Canadian farmers — wild buckwheat, volunteer Roundup Ready canola, dandelion, cleavers, kochia, green and red pigweed, annual sow thistle and lamb’s-quarters.

The Enlist Weed Control System will be available to Western Canadian soybean growers in 2015. In Eastern Canada, the company is launching the product with corn varieties in 2015 and for soybeans in 2016.

New Group 4 herbicide

In an era when crop protection companies are scrambling to find new and effective chemistries for weed control, Dow AgroSciences is bringing two new wheat and barley herbicides, with the same active ingredient, to the market in 2015.

Paradigm and Pixxaro, will both have the new Group 4, Arylex active ingredient. “They are very effective herbicides across a wide range of some the worst broadleaf weeds we have in Western Canada,” says Kelly Bennett, DAS cereals portfolio marketing lead. “And along with excellent weed control, Arylex active also affords farmers much more flexibility in its application.”

With both herbicides effective for in-crop weed control in the black soil zone, Pixxaro stands as the best choice if kochia is one of the main target weeds. Pixxaro can be tank mixed with any registered grassy weed product. If kochia isn’t an issue then Paradigm, especially tank mixed with Simplicity, provides an excellent broadleaf and grassy weed control product in wheat. And Paradigm can be mixed with other grassy weed herbicides for use in barley.

On the flexibility front, “for the most part as long as there isn’t frost on the ground or it isn’t raining you can spray,” says Bennett. “These products work very well under a wide range of crop stages and weather conditions — hot, cold, wet or dry. When plants are stressed by weather, movement by most herbicides within the plant can be inhibited. But with Arylex active products have the ability to move in the plant and be effective even under stressful conditions.” And as a systemic product, Bennet says its effects are longer lasting.

The herbicides are applied at a very low rate — two grams per acre — and can be tank mixed with a wide range of grassy weed herbicides. Paradigm is available in a new GoDRI rapid dispersion technology, which means the dry formulation easily mixes in water and then later is easy to clean out of the spray tank.

Arylex active represents a new chemical family within the Group 4 mode of action. Pixxaro is a combination of three Group 4 herbicides and Paradigm provides multiple modes of action on many weed species with both Arylex and Group 2 active ingredients. “The new chemistry makes these products very effective in helping to reduce the risk of herbicide resistance in a proper herbicide rotation program,” says Bennett. “Along with working well under a wide range of conditions these systemic herbicides are also fast acting. In most crops you will begin to see tremendous activity within five to seven days, whereas with other products it can take 10 to 21 days before weeds begin showing the effects.”

About the author

Field Editor

Lee Hart

Lee Hart is editor of Cattleman’s Corner based in Calgary.

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