Agronomy •  2023-01-23

Things to consider when adopting a new soybean trait system

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So, you’ve likely got your soybean seed plans in place for the upcoming 2023 growing season. Is this the year you’re trying a new trait system? Did you make a partial or full switch? Is the trait system new to you?

With so many more options for soybean trait systems, like Enlist E3TM soybeans, it’s important to create a plan ahead of planting to ensure you have procedures in place to eliminate any confusion or, worst case scenario, product mix-ups.

  1. Start with a solid record keeping system to help track trait systems planted in each field. If you’re making a full switch to a new trait system, every soybean field can be managed in a similar way, minimizing any headaches associated with switching back and forth between registered herbicides and cleaning equipment. If you’re starting with a partial switch this year, combining a planned approach with detailed record keeping will be essential.
  2. Flag or sign fields to indicate the trait system so that when you, your employee, or a custom applicator enter each field, they’ll have another check point or reminder to ensure the correct product     is being applied.
  3. Plant and spray your acres in ‘blocks’ to reduce the amount of time spent cleaning equipment between fields planted with different soybean trait systems. Try scheduling your planting and spraying according to the ‘blocks’, and if you’re operating acres that are far apart, managing those ‘blocks’ by geography can also help reduce extra drive time between fields and equipment clean out.
  4. Thoroughly following label and manufacturer directions are common sense and best management practices, and it never hurts to remind ourselves to brush up each year before heading to the field to avoid contamination issues. This is especially important if you’re applying dicamba or Enlist(TM) herbicides containing 2,4-D choline. Need a refresh on product labels or application directions? Visit Corteva Agriscience’s Label Finder.
  5. Properly cleaning sprayers is another important reminder, and especially when moving between fields or ‘blocks’ with different trait systems. Always follow a triple rinse tank cleanout procedure:
    1. First rinse: immediately after spraying, drain the sprayer tank and completely flush the tank with clean water.
    2. Second rinse: include a commercial tank cleaner or simple household ammonia.
    3. Third rinse: flush with clean water.

February is a great time for a sprayer clean-out refresh, or to train new equipment operators on the basics. Check out the Sprayer Clean-Out Best Practices for more information.

Most importantly, make sure all equipment operators understand which herbicides are registered for use in each soybean trait system and the location of fields related to each system. For example, for Enlist E3 soybeans, you can only apply Enlist 1 or Enlist DuoTM which contain 2, 4-D choline. And remember, never apply dicamba herbicides to Enlist E3 soybeans, unless you want to give your neighbours something to talk about!