Soybean School: When a Soybean Is No Longer Just a Soybean

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As the list of herbicide-tolerance traits in soybeans grows, so does the risk of off-target herbicide applications.

For many years, most soybeans in North America have been glyphosate-tolerant, with the exception in areas that grow conventional soybeans for the food market. But LibertyLink glufosinate-tolerant soybeans are being planted on some acres and Monsanto plans to roll out its new dicamba-tolerant genetics across Canada and the US in 2017 after received European import approval for its Xtend soybeans this week.

“The first thing I tell growers is a soybean is no longer just a soybean anymore,” says Dennis Lange, provincial pulse specialist with Manitoba Agriculture. “Not only do we have Xtend soybeans, which are the dicamba and glyphosate tolerant soybeans, we also have regular RoundupReady soybeans, Liberty-tolerant soybeans, conventional soybeans, and in some cases we also have edible beans that from a 150 feet away when you’re spraying look very similar.”

Large droplet size to reduce drift is critical when applying dicamba to Xtend beans, he notes. And if growing multiple types on the same farm, a good rinse-out will also be important.

“You do not want to spray dicamba on the regular RoundupReady soybeans because you will kill them,” explains Lange.

If you’re unsure what your neighbour is growing “ask the question, don’t just assume,” he stresses in this episode of the Soybean School, filmed at Crop Diagnostic School in Carman, Man.:

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