Written by Kylie Epperson @kylieepperson_
You planted soybeans, now what? Would farming be easier if we could simply blast through the planting season and take off on vacation until harvest? Probably so, but that isn’t quite the case. We are so excited to be advancing our soybean portfolio with the Pioneer® brand Enlist E3® soybeans again this year at Epperson Family Farms, located in Northeast Missouri. Our growing season is spent applying herbicide, fungicide, scouting for disease and pests, checking yields until finally, harvest rolls around. We continually observe our soybeans to ensure we are able to reap the rewards of our hard work. The herbicide application and mid-season scouting are vital to the success of the year’s crop and the soil health for future crops. Having the tools, such as the Enlist™ weed control system, in our toolbelt to tackle stubborn weeds, we feel equipped and confident in our choice to plant Pioneer brand Enlist E3 soybeans.
This spring was challenging, gosh, am I a broken record yet? The last three springs in Northeast Missouri have been overwhelming with endless precipitation and less than ideal temperatures to plant a crop. Nonetheless, we finished up planting our crops by mid-June, including our expanded acreage of Pioneer brand Enlist E3 soybeans. After an overall successful trial run with Pioneer® variety P41TO7E and the Enlist™ system last year, we felt it was a given for our farm to plant additional acres in Pioneer brand Enlist E3 soybeans again this spring.
Planted on June 7th and 8th, our Enlist E3® soybeans had a challenging start from seed to sprout. As mentioned above, the spring in our area, like many others, was wet. Because of the weather and saturated soil conditions, we were restricted from getting a pre-emergence herbicide pass on many of our soybean acres. Thus, when it came time for our post-emergence herbicide application, we had much heavier weed pressure than if we had been able to run a pre-emergence application pass (see photo to the left). The Enlist™ weed control system was going to be put to the test on this particular farm.
The beauty of the system, and one reason why we chose to increase our acres in Enlist E3 soybeans this year, is the herbicide program's ability to use different modes of action to tackle pesky weeds. Enlist E3 soybeans feature tolerance to 2,4-D choline, glyphosate and glufosinate. Hello to a winning trifecta! Having a list of approved tank-mix partners allows us to mix and spray our soybeans with confidence. We decided to put that spray trifecta to the test and apply Enlist One® + Liberty® + Glyphosate. When we applied the herbicide mixture in early July, our soybeans were at growth stage V2. Fortunately, with the incorporation of the Enlist system, we could have sprayed Enlist One® until soybean growth stage R2. Having the flexibility to spray without the pressure of hindering no-spray dates or unexpected weather occurrences is a huge weight off our shoulders as farmers.
Now, I could talk all day about the benefits of the Enlist™ system but I know what you really want to know… did the Enlist™ weed control system actually work? The short answer is yes but the proof is in the photos. Ridding the soil of weeds, allows the soybean plant to utilize and absorb all the necessary nutrients from the soil without the competition of the weeds. Boy, did the Enlist One® + Liberty® + Glyphosate have it’s work cut out for it. Common weeds in our area are marestail, water hemp, cockleburs and grass, among others and unfortunately, over the last few years, we have started to see herbicide resistance, especially with water hemp. The Enlist system mixture that we choose to apply did a great job stamping out the unwanted weeds, giving our soybeans a strong start, especially being planted so late in the season. Because the beans were one-pass sprayed at V2, there was still major soybean growth that needed to happen before the beans could canopy and block out the sun, providing a weed barrier for themselves.
In addition to scouting for weeds after spraying herbicide, we have a variety of other factors, such as nutrient deficiencies, nodulation, physiological stress and weed/pest pressure, that we look for when scouting. I’m definitely not an expert on these scouting topics but I love to listen and learn from my husband as we travel through the fields. When we scouted our Enlist E3® soybean fields, the fields that got a more comprehensive weed management approach had fewer weeds poking through the canopied soybeans. The field mentioned above, because again, we hadn’t sprayed a pre-emergence pass and sprayed at growth stage V2, did have additional weed pressure. However, the current weed pressure was mostly in low-lying spots where the soybean population was low and around the edges of the field. We are continually making observations throughout the growing season and are better able to take steps to remediate any problems that arise for this year's crop.
As a whole, we are incredibly satisfied with the Pioneer® brand Enlist E3® soybean and the Enlist™ weed control system. We are confident when planting our Enlist E3® soybeans that we will have the tools and resources with the Enlist system to eliminate emerging weed pressure. Enlist™ herbicides have been tested since 2011, delivering clear advantages over competitive systems such as, on-target applications, exceptional weed control, ease of use and flexibility in spray dates and times. We have had great luck with the Enlist system the last two years and I see a place for it in the future of our farm. If you have further questions, I encourage you to reach out to your local Pioneer sales representative.
The transgenic soybean event in Enlist E3® soybeans is jointly developed and owned by Corteva Agriscience and M.S. Technologies L.L.C.
Enlist Duo® and Enlist One™ herbicides are not registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is for sale or use in your area. Enlist Duo and Enlist One herbicides are the only 2,4-D products authorized for use in Enlist crops. Consult Enlist herbicide labels for weed species controlled. Always read and follow label directions.
Pioneer® brand products are provided subject to the terms and conditions of purchase which are part of the labeling and purchase documents.