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Research Shows Reduction in Volatility, Drift for Enlist Tech Package

09 April 2012
Dow AgroSciences

US - Research presented at the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) annual meeting showed a dramatic reduction in the potential for off-target movement with herbicides featuring Colex-D™ Technology.

The results, presented by university weed scientists and Dow AgroSciences researchers, included an evaluation of volatility, spray particle distribution, relative spray deposition and other factors - all key measures in determining the likelihood of a herbicide landing and staying on its intended target. The results come as Dow AgroSciences works to bring forward its Enlist™ Weed Control System, a new herbicide-tolerant trait system to control resistant and tough weeds.

Colex-D Technology will be featured in Enlist Duo™ herbicide, one component of the Enlist system. Colex-D Technology is composed of new 2,4-D choline, the latest formulation science and a proprietary manufacturing process. Taken together, those components result in herbicides with ultra-low volatility and minimized potential for drift.

"The Enlist Weed Control System has been developed with extensive input from farmers, weed scientists, sensitive crop growers and other key stakeholders across the agriculture value chain," says Mark Peterson, Dow AgroSciences global biology leader, Enlist Weed Control System. "That input directly impacted the Enlist product concept and led to the development of Colex-D Technology."

Volatility reduced to near zero

According to research presented at WSSA, herbicides containing new 2,4-D choline, a component of Colex-D™ Technology, demonstrated ultra-low volatility in both lab and field trials. In-field volatility tests conducted under multiple environmental conditions and intended to simulate real-world farming situations showed significant reduction in volatility compared with traditional forms of 2,4-D. Researchers measured percent vapor loss 60 hours after the herbicide was applied. For foliar applications, 2,4-D choline showed a 92 percent reduction compared with 2,4-D ester. Small-scale field tests conducted by Mississippi State University also showed very little crop injury from volatility when soil flats treated with high rates of 2,4-D choline were placed in close proximity to cotton under a "low tunnel" where the temperature was very high, providing conditions conducive to volatility.

New formulation with recommended nozzles reduces physical drift by 90 percent

Studies in collaboration with University of Nebraska and University of Queensland, Australia, examined the potential for physical drift with the Enlist™ herbicide solution featuring Colex-D™ Technology. The Enlist herbicide solution is a proprietary blend of glyphosate and new 2,4-D choline, and was compared with a tank mix of glyphosate and traditional 2,4-D.

The research shows the Enlist herbicide containing Colex-D Technology reduced physical drift by 45 percent with the formulation improvements alone. The Enlist herbicide in combination with improved, low-drift spray nozzles decreased physical drift by up to 90 percent versus a tank mix of glyphosate and traditional 2,4-D sprayed with a standard XR nozzle.

Dan Reynolds, Ph.D., Mississippi State University, also has conducted in-field drift trials with herbicides containing Colex-D Technology. "The Colex-D Technology featuring the new 2,4-D choline certainly reduces the drift plume significantly compared with traditional amine and ester formulations," he says.

Management resource will support Enlist™ system

Dow AgroSciences recently unveiled Enlist™ Ahead, a first-of-its-kind management resource designed to help farmers succeed while promoting responsible use of the Enlist system. Built on a three-pillar foundation, Enlist Ahead will offer farmers, applicators and retailers technology advancements; education, tools and training; and management recommendations, including guidance on application practices and spray equipment. As part of Enlist Ahead, Enlist Duo™ with Colex-D™ Technology will be the authorized herbicide for use in Enlist™ crops.

"Growers and applicators are as concerned as anyone about off-target movement," Peterson says. "The benefits of Colex-D™ Technology and the Enlist Ahead management resource will help them address that issue."

The Enlist Weed Control System will be a valuable tool to aid growers in controlling glyphosate-resistant and hard-to-control weeds, such as marestail, waterhemp, lambsquarters and Palmer amaranth. Pending regulatory approvals, the Enlist system will be available in corn in the 2013 crop year, followed by soybeans in 2015 and cotton in 2016.

TheCropSite News Desk

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