EFFINGHAM, Ill. – In Tony Zerrusen’s territory in southern Illinois, beans matter. It could be soybeans, green beans, or soybeans followed by soybeans, but each type of bean has a farmer’s livelihood behind it.
To protect the beans that grow in southern Illinois, more and more growers are turning to Pioneer’s Enlist weed control system.
âSwitching to the Enlist system has significantly reduced our burden,â said Zerrusen, a Pioneer agronomist based in Effingham.
From weeding stubborn weeds to maintaining good neighborly relationships and ultimately achieving high yields, Pioneer’s Enlist system ticks all the boxes for growers in the Zerrusen Territory.
âProducers see the benefits of the Enlist system. You have a strong Group 4 to control weeds. You have near zero volatility, with reduced potential for drift. Buffer zones are much smaller. There are no heat restrictions. With the other chemistry, there might be a spray deadline in Illinois. With Enlist, we don’t have that. It really opens up a grower’s spray window, as well as being able to control aggressive weeds like water hemp, âZerrusen said.
In an area of ââthe state where soybean fields can border a variety of specialty crops, growers are experiencing the damage other herbicides can cause to those crops.
âIn this southeast corner of Illinois there is a lot of production of vegetables, pumpkins, potatoes, green beans, watermelons and we have a lot of specialty crops as you get closer to the Wabash River. The first year that we started using dicamba, we encountered a lot of problems with special crops, âZerrusen said.
Zerrusen said the Enlist system, with 2,4-D choline, has helped allay concerns on both sides of the fence.
âEvery farmer wants to be the good neighbor. No one wants to get the bad rap that their herbicide drifts or volatilizes in a neighbor’s crop. We have taken on the Enlist system and it works wonderfully, âhe said.
In order for growers to stay neighbors, they need to get yields while controlling weeds, and Zerrusen said growers in his territory who have switched to the Enlist system are happy with their yields.
âWe are seeing fantastic performance results so far this fall. One thing Pioneer is really good at doing is collecting lots and lots of local data. Across southern Illinois, we have 50 to 100 soybean plots, where we test our varieties against our own Liberty, our own Xtend, and against our competition. We’re getting a pretty good performance measurement from these Enlist varieties and we’re very happy with what we’re seeing. The Enlist soybean varieties come out on top. We have a handful of Enlist strains that even surpass our previous Pioneer genetics, so we’re very excited about that, âZerrusen said.
One of the rotations where the Enlist system has been shown to be particularly effective is the soybean to soybean rotation.
âThere are three modes of action in Enlist that are effective against weeds. We have soils where producers grow soybeans on soybean rotations and weed control becomes an issue for them. We have seen very good results with Enlist in this context, âsaid Zerrusen.
Water hemp remains at the top of the list when it comes to troublesome weeds in the southeastern Illinois Zerrusen area. Waterhemp’s prolific seed production makes it a constant headache for growers.
âIt’s about closing ranks and getting off to a good start, and then being able to kill what’s going on. If we’re not able to get off to a good start, water hemp has been around long enough that glyphosate begins to become ineffective. Depending on the time of day, glufosinate can also become ineffective, âZerrusen said.
The Enlist system allows growers to continue to keep all the tools in the toolbox for effective weed control.
âWith water hemp starting to build resistance across multiple modes of action, we now have a chance to introduce Enlist and defend our crop a little further, for a few more years,â Zerrusen said.
Zerrusen stressed that the key to successful use of the Enlist system is the holistic approach to the system.
âIf we want Enlist to work, we have to use it in a system. It means layering your meadows. Start clean in a field and stay clean. If you can layer your pre-emergent herbicides and use Enlist as a tool to clean the field, instead of using it as a rescue, then you do the product justice, you do yourself justice, and you keep the product effective for the long haul. term, âZerrusen said.
This column was provided by Illinois AgriNews for Pioneer.