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Growers swing at pigweed using Ignite on WideStrike

It’s controversial. It breaks rules, but not laws.

Growers swing at pigweed using Ignite on WideStrike

It’s controversial. It breaks rules, but not laws.

It’s the practice of using Ignite on cotton with the WideStrike technology.

Ignite is a glufosinate-based herbicide offered by Bayer CropScience and labeled for cotton and several other crops. WideStrike is a proprietary two-gene insecticide technology offered in PhytoGen cotton varieties by Dow AgroSciences.

“What we have in the marketplace is a semitolerant event to Ignite, but one that’s not up to specifications as far as Bayer’s criteria for commercial tolerance,” says Andy Hurst, Bayer CropScience product manager for herbicide-tolerant traits and Ignite herbicide. “Bayer does not warrant the use of Ignite over the top of PhytoGen WideStrike varieties.”

Key Points

• Growers take a risk when using Ignite on WideStrike cotton.

• Ignite burns WideStrike and kills other cotton.

• Ignite kills Palmer amaranth that’s shorter than 3 inches.

Neither does Dow.

Duane Canfield, Dow general manager and PhytoGen cotton-seed market specialist, says, “All risk of crop damage and loss associated with the use of GA [glufosinate ammonium] herbicides on WideStrike cotton remains solely with the user.”

For some growers in Macon County, Ga., that’s a risk they’re willing to take.

Although neither Macon County Extension agent Jeremy Kichler nor the University of Georgia recommends Ignite on WideStrike cotton, Kichler shares some of the management tactics his growers are using.

Growers are using the 29-ounce rate of Ignite, applied with a flat fan nozzle, he says. They’re also using a residual, whether it’s Treflan, Prowl, Cotoran, Staple or Reflex. Some are mixing Dual at 11\3 pints with Ignite, even though Kichler notes that that mix increases burn on the cotton leaves.

Essentially, he says, Ignite gives “a little wider window to get your residuals activated, which can be very beneficial, especially in dryland production.

“You still have to be timely with it,” he says. “Growers need to spray when Palmer is 3 inches or less.”

Some growers are using FiberMax LibertyLink varieties. The ones who moved to WideStrike did so to be able to continue using Roundup on grasses, Kichler says. “It’s about flexibility,” he says.

Bayer is developing cotton varieties with resistance to glyphosate and glufosinate. Southeast growers can look for GlyTol plus LibertyLink varieties stacked with TwinLink, a two-gene Bt trait, in 2012.

Comparison of 2009 estimated seed- and technology-related costs per acre


Source: Expiration of Single-Gene Bollgard Technology: Analysis of Alternatives Available to Georgia Cotton Producers, 2008 Cotton Research-Extension Report, University of Georgia,

1 Seed cost is average of Deltapine (DP), Stoneville (ST), and FiberMax (FM) varieties.

2 Seed cost includes LL fee.

3 Based on 2 to 3 seeds per foot of row and 36-inch rows.

4 Includes cost of application. Herbicide cost does not include labor for hand weeding if needed.

Allow burn, beat pigweed

The study “Weed Control and Crop Response to Glufosinate Applied to PHY 485 WRF Cotton,” reported in Weed Technology 23, July-September 2009, demonstrated that “visible injury to PHY 485 WRF was consistently observed five [days] after application, but the cotton recovered and yield was not reduced.”

The injury was as high as 22% in one protocol, according to the study released by North Carolina State University’s Alan York and the University of Georgia’s Stanley Culpepper, Phillip Roberts and Jared Whitaker. The treatment, however, also consistently killed 97% of the Palmer amaranth.

Ultimately, the researchers concluded: “A cultivar with tolerance to both glufosinate and glyphosate also gives growers an additional and much-needed tool to use in resistance-management strategies to avoid or delay further selection for glyphosate or ALS-inhibitor resistance. Until agronomically adapted cultivars with multiple herbicide-resistance traits become available, glufosinate-based systems in PHY 485 WRF cotton could fill a void in current management systems.”

Growers discuss their variety picks for 2010

Nick McMichen, Centre, Ala.

“I have always been a big proponent of trying and planting newer varieties. ... I have been doing a variety test with [Auburn University Extension cotton specialist] Charlie Burmester for 18 years and think that this information is very valuable for myself and my neighbors as far as variety selection. But for the last two years I have been fortunate enough to have been able to put in a New Product Evaluator trial with Deltapine. In this I have been able to see and evaluate the newest of their varieties. Last year I got to see firsthand 0912, 0920 and 0924, and the results were a substantial increase over older varieties. This year I have seen similar results, but the varieties that I evaluated have not been given official numbering yet. I plan to plant two of the three unnamed varieties, along with 0912 and possibly some 0935.

“I feel like we are about to break the glass ceiling on yields and fiber quality with improved varieties and genetics.”

Anthony Martin, Millen, Ga.

“I’m going to stick with FM 1845LLB2. It’s about $100 cheaper a bag than Triple Nickel. You can take that money and spend it on chemical. ... I used a 6-inch seed rate this year. I think I’m going to go to 7 next year. ... I may plant more cotton and less corn. I didn’t put anything down with Ignite preplant this year. I’m going to put down Reflex or Prowl next year.”

Bill Bridgeforth, Tanner, Ala.

“We think we’re going to go back to being cotton farmers. We think the market is just about there, and it’s going to buy some acres come spring. We don’t have any problems with resistant weeds. Everything we plant, we use a residual herbicide. We’re looking at DP 924 B2RF and Stoneville, one of the B2 Flex varieties; I can’t remember the number. Stoneville and [Deltapine] just have competitive varieties. We try to choose varieties that do well all across the Cotton Belt.”

Not the same as 555

Hit it hard with the Pix. Max out the Stance. Don’t let it get away from you.

Those all are admonitions growers heard — and shared with each other — as DP 555 BGRR was planted on more and more cotton acres in the Southeast.

“How you managed 555? Just forget about it,” says Bayer CropScience’s Jeff Brehmer of the FiberMax and Stoneville lines. “These are not that aggressive.”

Same goes for the new Deltapine varieties, says Monsanto’s Dave Albers. “PGR management of Deltapine Class of ’09 and Class of ’10 varieties is not as intensive as with DP 555 BGRR.”

Finally, University of Georgia Extension agronomist Jared Whitaker reminds growers: “There is a chance that we could hurt yields of new varieties with too much Pix. These varieties don’t grow like 555. We’re going to have to manage the crop closely and consider being lighter on our early-season PGR applications.”


FIGHTING FOR COTTON: Jeremy Kichler showed up at the University of Georgia Extension office just in time for the war that threatened to end all cotton fields: farmers vs. glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth. An unconventional approach uses Ignite, which is designed for LibertyLink varieties, on varieties with WideStrike, which is a two-gene insecticide technology. The approach is helping growers survive.

This article published in the February, 2010 edition of MID-SOUTH FARMER.

All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2010.

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