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Choices of Traits: An Explanation of Enlist, LLGT27, & Xtend Flex soybean platforms

PFR site in Effingham IL, Photo Credit: Wendell Koehn

There is understandably some confusion surrounding the new offerings of herbicide traits in soybeans coming up. With the Liberty trait the future for now, our future applications of herbicide will allow this product to be sprayed on every GE soybean. Here are some thoughts and new looks at what we have coming up. If you are not interested in my take on each product, you can scroll down to the bottom for a handy chart by Beck's Hybrids

Enlist E3

  • Full Approval: Now

  • Herbicide Tolerance: 2,4D Choline (Enlist One), Glufosinate (Liberty), & Glyphosate (Roundup)

  • Restrictions: No special training or certification required, No applications above 15 MPH, use caution above 10; No application during a temperature inversion, No spraying during winds towards susceptible crops, 30' buffer downwind for sensitive areas.

  • Talking Points:

  1. Tank mixable with broad range of products including Liberty and Roundup including the appropriate AMS or nitrogen based products,

  2. non Enlist soybeans, corn, and wheat are not susceptible crops, thus you can spray near non Enlist fields at anytime.

  3. 2,4D choline acid is shown to have greater control of weeds than older 2,4D acids,

  4. Near zero volatility (transparent field trials that my seed advisor witnessed near Holden MO have shown zero damage to tomatoes planted 8' or less from field sprayed with Enlist One),

  5. no restrictions on dates or times of day,

  6. no special applicators license or training required.

  7. Still restrictions in some areas to downwind

  • My take: on this lineup is much less restrictions on herbicide applications with great weed control and just two restrictions on applying this herbicide for most situations: 30' downwind buffer toward sensitive areas & no spraying when wind is blowing downwind to susceptible crops (like tomatoes, orchards, etc) non tolerant soybeans are exempt.

Freedom Plus LLGT27

  • Full Approval: Now, Alite herbicide pending

  • Herbicide Tolerance: Liberty, Glysophate, and group 27 tolerant (Alite)

  • Restrictions: follow labels

  • Talking Points:

  1. Economical platform

  2. Can be treated like a Liberty program yet has the addition of glysophate and a group 27 HPPD (Alite),

  3. you can spray fence row to fence row at anytime and anywhere. no restrictions!

  • My take: on this lineup is freedom to spray what you want, when you want, where you want. Like it used to be.

Xtend Flex

  • Full Approval: No, by 2021

  • Herbicide Tolerance: Dicamba (like Xtendimax), glysophate, & glufosinate

  • Restrictions: Only applicators who have completed dicamba certification and training can apply, spray records must be filled out within 72 hours of application, no application when wind is blowing toward sensitive crops, 57' buffer near endangered species areas, spray only between 3 and 10 mph. This could all change with EPA temporary label.

  • Talking Points:

  1. Will not be able to tank mix with Liberty/glufosinate,

  2. Non dicamba tolerant soybeans are sensitive crops reducing the potential days one can spray,

  3. Excellent kill on most weeds,

  4. Some residual value on weed control,

  5. Early season application of the new dicamba chemistry reduces the effects of this product's volatility;

  6. Volatility has been more of a problem than manufacturers allowed,

  7. Uncertainty surrounds temporary label by EPA on what rules will be when current label expires,

  8. This platform becomes basically a Liberty/Roundup bean mid to late season.

  • My Take: on this one is dicamba is another option in our toolbox to keep multiple herbicides against weeds. We need all the tools in our lineup to combat an increasingly challenging problem: resistant weeds. If your operation can work through its concerns, it has a valid place.

Below is a handy chart that can help check list what is best for your operation. Note that the comparison is not for the upcoming XtendFlex, but the current one you can use now.

Photo Credit: Beck's Hybrids

In my experience, working with farmers of all sizes, no one answer is right. However; we can find a solution that works for you. Recently, at an agronomic meeting I heard again that the bevy of resistant weeds is growing very quickly. And, the resistance is even in the herbicide modes of action listed above. While Liberty has largely been untouched in this so far, it is not exempt as it becomes the common herbicide of choice in all lineups now and in the future. I believe that we need to keep rotating chemistries and tank mixes. Let me know if you have questions on what is right for you. It does not matter what corn or soybean dealer you are buying seed from, feel free to call me at 417-684-5301 anytime! This about the most profitable and sustainable pathway for your farm. Your Success Matters!


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