Timely In-Season News from Your Federated Agronomists
wind drift
Drift Management Moves to the Next Level

Managing drift when spraying crop protection chemicals has always been important, but Round-Up® Ready (RR) crops brought a degree of complacency about the issue. A lackadaisical approach to drift doesn't cut it with the steady increase of sensitive features (vineyards, organic farms, orchards, bee hives, etc.), and now, with the advent of RR 2 Xtend® soybeans and the chemicals recently approved for use on them, drift matters even more.
Kevin Johnson, agronomy sales rep at Federated's Osceola location, offered these important reminders for managing drift with crop protection chemicals:
  1. Read the label. While this may seem obvious, it's often overlooked. Read it thoroughly. Product labels are designed to protect growers and their neighbors, chemical applicators, and the environment.
  2. Check the weather forecast. Wind speeds must be under 10 mph and blowing away from sensitive areas or features near the field being sprayed.
  3. Use the right spray tips/nozzles. Read and follow the guidelines for the specific products being applied; don't assume to know/remember what is required.
  4. Use a drift control adjuvant. There are several reliable options (see article below for two recommendations). For RR 2 Xtend crops, be sure to use an approved adjuvant.*
  5. Maintain the proper boom height, application speed, and pressure to keep the spray droplets on target.
  6. Beware of temperature inversions. A temperature inversion occurs "when warm air, which is light, rises upward into the atmosphere, and cool air, which is heavy, settles near the ground. When warm air hangs above cool air, the two won't mix . . . [with] a dicamba application (some other pesticides are also affected), spray droplets are unlikely to disperse. Instead, they'll stay bunched in a concentrated mass, and even slight airflow could move them off-target." (Source: Farm Journal's Ag Pro)
By following these steps, Johnson said, "you should be good to go," to manage drift and guard against liability issues. Contact your Federated Agronomist with questions or concerns.
*For Round-Up Ready 2 Xtend crops, the approved list of adjuvants to manage drift is updated regularly. The lists, along with application requirements, are listed on the Monsanto, DuPont, and BASF websites. Growers/applicators are required by law to access the supplemental product labels within seven days of using the dicamba products. As always, call your  Federated Agronomist with questions.
Adjuvants Serve More than One Purpose 

Not only do adjuvants improve the effectiveness of herbicide and insecticide applications, they can also help control drift and improve retention. Plexus® and Array® are solid adjuvant choices for use with many herbicides and insecticides.
Array logo
Array is an AMS-based adjuvant that conditions hard water and improves herbicide absorption by the plant. Array increases spray deposition, and improves retention and canopy penetration, according to Dale Hanson of Rosen's. ( AMS-based adjuvants are not approved for the RR 2 Xtend soybean system. See notes in article above.)
Plexus likewise improves the performance of the physical properties of the herbicide or insecticide application by increasing penetration at the cuticle and cellular levels. It is easy to use, has a low rate, and is more efficient than other adjuvants.
For dicamba-tolerant soybeans (RR 2 Xtend) the list of approved adjuvants is continually changing. Growers/applicators are required by law to access the product labels within seven days of using the dicamba products. Contact your  Federated Agronomist for adjuvant recommendations and application guidelines.
Evaluate the Corn Stand, Treat the Soybean Seed

emerging corn plant
"Ideally, we want corn stands to be within 2000-3000 of planting population," said Kevin Carlson, Federated's senior agronomist. The objective is even and uniform stands with all plants out of the ground within a day or two of each other, but "that's not always the case," said Carlson. 
Carlson reminded growers to get out and check their fields: "Come behind the planter a week or 10 days later and see how the crop is emerging." Evaluate and monitor the stand as it comes up "because you may need to give it a little help [rotary hoeing, for example] when germination and emergence conditions are less than ideal," he said. This year, wet, cold, mastic soil has certainly been an issue. (See this article on Cool Temps & Rain After Planting Corn.)
If corn isn't out of the ground at 21 days, it's probably not going to be. Carlson
said, "It if gets to 20 days . . . give us a call, especially if it's our product in the ground." (Carlson recommends these articles on  Corn Replanting Decisions and  Time to Switch to Earlier Maturity? )
Treated soybeans should also be out of the ground by 21 days, and if not, "they definitely are not going to come," he said.
Carlson highly recommends treating soybeans. "If it's not our seed, we will treat that too," he said. Seed treatment gives added protection against the adverse effects of cold and wet soils. Call your Federated Location to order seed treatment.
In the end, "forcing the planting doesn't work," Carlson said. "Be patient. When the conditions are good, get real busy." And call your Federated Agronomist with any planting or stand evaluation questions.
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