Farmers planting Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans have another herbicide choice after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week approved DuPont’s new FeXapan herbicide plus Vapor Grip Technology. FeXapan joins two other similar products on the market, including BASF’s Engenia and Monsanto’s XtendiMax with VaporGrip. For in-season use, FeXapan must be applied over dicamba-tolerant soybean and cotton varieties.
According to Dave Johnson, soybean product development manager for DuPont Crop Protection, the VaporGrip technology in FeXapan is designed to reduce potential dicamba movement due to vapors, compared with conventional dicamba herbicides. Dicamba has long been known for its volatility and ability to move off target. Reducing vapor movement will help, but that’s just one of three ways dicamba can move off target, Johnson says. Others include sprayer contamination and, most commonly, particle drift. Temperature inversions increase movement of both vapors and very small spray droplets.
Success through best practices
As with any crop protection product, Johnson says farmers and applicators who follow FeXapan application best practices will have the most success preventing off-target applications.
According to DuPont, Illinois soybean farmers have expressed a need and an interest in planting dicamba-tolerant soybeans. Why the appeal?
Johnson says FeXapan is a very effective tool against herbicide-resistant weeds, including kochia, marestail, waterhemp and other amaranth species. He recommends using FeXapan over dicamba-tolerant soybeans as part of a complete weed-control program, including preemergent- and postemergent-herbicide applications with multiple herbicide modes of action.
“We’re very excited to add this to the toolbox that we offer,” Johnson says. “This is just one of the important tools. We want to be sure growers understand the tool works within the system and not as a stand-alone product.”
Tankmixing with FeXapan is currently not an option, Johnson says. Farmers can track tankmix options and state-by-state label approvals, and view stewardship training modules, at fexapan.dupont.com. The website also details best practices and label guidelines, such as maximum weed height, buffer zones, wind speed restrictions and spray nozzle recommendations.
To minimize dicamba movement, Johnson recommends an ultra-course droplet size. Currently, only TeeJet offers a spray nozzle that will achieve ultra-course droplets: the TeeJet TTI11004. More nozzle options will be listed on the DuPont FeXapan website following approval.
Johnson notes label restrictions and best practices are similar to the two other postemergent herbicides approved for use on RR2 Xtend soybeans — Engenia and XtendiMax with VaporGrip.