Monsanto announced that its show-and-tell field demonstrations of new seed, trait and herbicide technologies for the summer of 2013 will be "diversified weed management practices" (DWMPs) plots.
The company claims the large number of DWMPs being established by Monsanto and other entities "reflects the motivation of academics, farmers, manufacturers and retailers to get ahead of the learning curve for using new weed management technologies before products enter the marketplace."
The company quoted Bryan Young, Ph.D., professor and weed scientist at Southern Illinois University as saying, "Looking back to the mid-1990s, the introduction of Roundup Ready herbicide-tolerant crops started a new phase of crop management. Today, we're moving into another phase of crop management, and life will not be as simple as it was when only glyphosate was used to control all weeds. Not only will we have new herbicide technologies, we'll also have new seed-trait technologies combined with them in some weed management systems."
Young is further quoted as saying that changes in crop production make it all the more critical to take advantage of learning events this summer. "Seeing and hearing information firsthand has more impact, and the participant has more room for personal interpretation. It may be difficult for people to find the time, but these learning opportunities are now more important than ever."
Monsanto has plans for educational programs called the "Roundup Ready Learning Xperience," a series of events aimed at transferring knowledge about the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System to seed dealers, retailers and others. These DWMPs with the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System will introduce Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans to a large base of future users and dealers of the products. The soybeans are being bred to be tolerant to dicamba and glyphosate herbicides applied postemerge together. Registration of the soybeans for commercial launch is not anticipated to occur before the 2015 use season.
"Featuring in-field training demonstrations, the Learning Xperience events will be held at more than 20 locations across major U.S. soybean-growing regions that have been specifically selected to show how the system will work across many environments," Monsanto announced. Plans are that these will be invitation-only events with a focus on ag professionals.
Many ag retailers are expected to take advantage of these events in order to become educated on new weed management technologies and application practices so that they are ahead of their customer base in knowing details and expectations for the future.
Jason Weirich, Ph.D., MFA director of agronomy, said, "We recognize changes are coming to weed management with the new crop systems headed down the pipeline, and we're preparing for them."
MFA has a large footprint in Missouri, Iowa, Arkansas and Kansas, and supplies seed and herbicides to farmers along with custom application services from about 350 herbicide applicators.
"Retailers, applicators, farmers and agronomists need to be at summer learning opportunities," Monsanto quoted Weirich as saying. "We need to know how to use the new seed and herbicide technologies to better ourselves and our farming operations. It's important to have consistent messages on proper use so that we can be good stewards of the new technologies."
Monsanto explained what is planned for its Learning Xperience sites. It noted that plots will demonstrate local Roundup Ready PLUS Weed Management Solutions recommendations in action, as well as small-field trials showcasing the efficacy and crop safety of the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System. Participants in the Learning Xperience events will get a firsthand, close-up preview of the latest innovations.
"Monsanto wants to prepare retailers and applicators to effectively use the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System to help achieve optimum yield potentials and a high level of efficacy on tough-to-manage and resistant weeds," said Michelle Vigna, Monsanto Roundup Ready Xtend launch manager.
"Our Learning Xperience events will offer training on application requirements, weed control recommendations using herbicides with multiple modes of action and many other key management practices to enhance crop production outcomes."
As usual, universities, manufacturers, other seed companies, ag retailers, etc., are planning events to showcase the latest knowledge, products and expertise for attaining maximum yield and profit potentials. In addition to Monsanto, most major companies will focus on making educational opportunities available this summer, suggested Robert Wolf, Ph.D., application technology specialist, consultant and professor emeritus at Kansas State University. He currently operates Wolf Consulting and Research based in Mahomet, Ill.
Wolf said attendees of training sessions need to search for ones where they will get a jumpstart on application practices required with new seed and herbicide systems including on-target application, drift reduction, proper nozzle selection, boom height and operating speed, as well as tank cleanout procedures and the many components that factor into proper application for effective, sustainable weed control. An important aspect will be proper use and application of dicamba herbicides, which is key to the Monsanto Roundup Ready Xtend seed trait introduction.
"We will need to be more diverse in application approaches, which will change the habits of many people who became too focused on the simplicity of using one herbicide," said Wolf. "Changing application practices will be a challenge for those who have never used diverse application approaches and for people who may have not used them in many years."
He also said, "Everyone involved in using the new technologies will need knowledge about the issues and variables to consider. It's best to prepare now by participating in learning opportunities which will help individuals be ready for widespread use when the technologies advance to the marketplace."