Later this month, the latest in weed management technologies and cover crops will be highlighted at the annual Nebraska Extension Weed Management and Cover Crops Field Day. The June 28 event at the South Central Ag Lab near Clay Center will begin with registration at 8 a.m., followed by discussions on weed control options for soybeans, corn, popcorn and sorghum. The afternoon will feature a cover crop demonstration.
"In soybeans, we have five projects we'll discuss," says Amit Jhala, Nebraska Extension weed management specialist. "We have a study comparing different herbicide-resistant soybeans. We'll also have a study on Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans; Bayer Crop Science's Balance Bean – which isn't available commercially but will be available in the future, and is tolerant to isoxaflutole [Balance Flexx] and Liberty [glufosinate]; and a study on DuPont's Bolt soybeans, which is tolerant to ALS-inhibiting herbicides. We'll also discuss research in herbicide options for conventional soybeans."
Also on the agenda is a comparison of corn herbicides, including pre-mixed herbicides like Acuron (atrazine, bicyclopyrone, mesotrione, and S-metolachlor) and Resicore (acetochlor, mesotrione and clopyralid). The field day will also discuss recent research on DiFlexx Duo, a premix of DiFlexx (dicamba) and Laudis (tembotrione), which includes Crop Safety Innovation (CSI) safener technology.
In the wake of the commercialization of new formulations of dicamba (XtendiMax and Engenia) and 2,4-D (Enlist DUO) herbicides and the reported instances of dicamba injury in nearby states last year, the field day will discuss dicamba and 2,4-D injury and symptoms in different crops in a simulated drift study.
This year's field day will also discuss a new tool in the sorghum grower's toolbox — DuPont's Inzen Sorghum, which is tolerant to Zest herbicide (nicosulfuron).
"The idea is a herbicide-resistant sorghum cultivar that will provide an opportunity for postemergent grass weed control in sorghum," Jhala says. "Currently, when grasses are over 6 inches tall, we don't have any effective herbicide option for grass weed control in sorghum. The idea is to provide an opportunity for growers dealing with foxtail species and other weeds,” such as wooly cupgrass and johnsongrass, which can be effectively controlled by this herbicide.
New to this year will be a study on weed management and herbicide options for popcorn.
"We want to see the effect of row spacing and herbicide in weed control in popcorn. We are trying twin-row popcorn, some have 15-inch row spacing, and we want to compare twin row with and without preemerge herbicide applications," Jhala explains. "That's important in popcorn, because popcorn has the least number of herbicides labeled compared to field corn. It's very sensitive to herbicides, so your herbicide options are limited. Now the popcorn acres in Nebraska are increasing, because corn and soybean prices aren't doing very well. And Nebraska is still the No. 1 popcorn-producing state in the country."
The field day will wrap up with a tour of cover crop plots in corn and soybean cropping systems, and discuss factors like planting dates, populations and maturities, as well as pros and cons like water use, nitrogen fixation and sequestration, erosion control, and effect on crop yields.