BASF highlights “The science behind the future of weed control”

To kick off the 2012 Commodity Classic, BASF Crop Protection and industry experts presented research, innovations and techniques to help prepare growers for the future of weed control at the sixth annual “Science Behind” media symposium.

As the growing season nears, glyphosate resistance is expected to once again be a key threat to crop yields in fields throughout the country.

To kick off the 2012 Commodity Classic, BASF Crop Protection and industry experts presented research, innovations and techniques to help prepare growers for the future of weed control at the sixth annual “Science Behind” media symposium.

New innovations

The event provided media a closer look at the new innovation in development, Engenia herbicide, an advanced dicamba formulation with low-volatility characteristics for improved on-target application. Engenia will help control more than 100 of the annual broadleaf weeds that farmers are battling in their crops today, including glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth, waterhemp and marestail.

Field research has confirmed the advanced formulation will provide excellent efficacy and crop tolerance. As well, Engenia will be an important new tool in the fight against herbicide resistance, offering an additional herbicide site of action for post-emergence control of broadleaf weeds in dicamba-tolerant crops.

“As the industry leader, BASF is dedicated to providing solutions, technical support and educational tools to help growers implement a weed management program based on herbicide best practices,” said Paul Rea, vice-president, U.S. Crop Protection, BASF.

“We encourage growers to be proactive in their weed resistance management and to utilize herbicides with different sites of action. New advanced options like Engenia will be a key to success to help growers maximize yields and preserve their farmland for future generations.”

According to Steve Bowe, BASF biology group leader, who presented the details during the media event, Engenia will be available for use with the dicamba-tolerant cropping system currently in development and is expected to be commercialized first in soybeans by mid-decade.

Experts outline future of weed control

Fifty percent of growers surveyed by BASF reported dealing with resistant weeds.

With 13 different species of glyphosate-resistant weeds now in 27 states — and with an increasing number of weeds that have stacked resistance to multiple sites of action — the media symposium was an important event for delivering vital weed management information to the industry.

Along with Rea and Bowe, event presenters included: Larry Steckel, Ph.D., University of Tennessee; Jeff Stachler, Ph.D., North Dakota State University/University of Minnesota; Bob Wolf, Ph.D., Wolf Consulting & Research; and Dan Westberg, Ph.D., BASF Technical Market Manager.

At the event, speakers highlighted the importance of utilizing multiple sites of action as a top best practice to manage existing resistant weed populations and reduce the likelihood of resistance development.

“I often tell our growers to think back to 2003, 2004. Those were the good old days for weed control. It is never going to be that simple again,” said Steckel.

“We’ve lost glyphosate on a lot of these key weeds, so we need to use an integrated approach that includes cultural and chemical strategies — like using different herbicide sites of actions.”

Westberg noted that using multiple sites of action in a growing season is just one piece of the puzzle to complete weed management. Scouting, proper planning, and cultural and mechanical strategies should also be considered. In addition, on-target herbicide applications enhance the efficacy of herbicide applications.

To help educate growers on proper application technique, BASF is partnering with Wolf Consulting & Research to launch the On Target Application Academy, a one-of-a-kind, hands-on series of education training programs for growers.

The On Target Application Academy is an opportunity for growers to learn herbicide application best practices that help mitigate spray drift and achieve the most effective weed control possible with today’s emerging product and equipment innovations.

“Herbicide applications require a lot of attention to detail,” said Wolf. “I’m proud to partner with BASF to give growers the knowledge and tools that will help them be the best stewards of their herbicides and fields that they can be.“

Partner in weed resistance management

BASF is a grower’s No. 1 partner for managing weed resistance by providing more corn and soybean herbicide sites of action than any other crop protection company.

The launches of OpTill PRO herbicide and Armezon herbicide, as well as the advancement of Engenia herbicide and Zidua herbicide, demonstrate the commitment of BASF to provide growers with new chemistries and products to maximize their yield potential and proactively manage resistant weeds.

For more information on herbicide best practices, please visit

For more information on BASF Crop protection products, visit

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