Monsanto's dicamba resistant soybean

Jeff H

Well-Known Member
Seems to be much talk in the media today about Monsanto's dicamba resistant soybean. For those who are not aware this was developed to combat Roundup resistant weeds (pigweed in particular I believe) by spraying dicamba to kill the weeds but not the newly developed dicamba resistant soybean. Problem with dicamba is it has a propensity to drift. Seems as though Monsanto is taking some heat over selling the seeds before a non-drifting dicamba has been approved.
I'll likely never plant a dicamba resistant soybean but just wondered what others thought of the Monsanto controversy.

It seems like everything Monsanto does produces a controversy.

The tendency of dicamba to drift far and wide is not new and any farmer or applicator who doesn't know this, shouldn't be allowed near the stuff. This is not a case IMO where Monsanto "created" a problem. Also, even if and AFTER Monsanto's drift-reduced version of dicamba should come on the market, the responsibility still rests on the shoulders of whoever is doing the spraying because the old versions of dicamba that drift easily will still be on the market. So it will be very easy for farmers and others to think, hey this stuff is just like Glyphosate, it's all the same and pick up whatever the co-op carries and start spraying.

I know it's not popular to give Monsanto credit for anything, but Roundup-Ready technology has changed almost everything in farm country and in the vast majority of cases, it's for the better. I cannot imagine going back to old school, multi-pass, non-systemic herbicide applications. There's probably now a whole lot of people who don't remember the bad old days of running around trying to figure out what new weed had popped up in the fields this week and then trying to match it with a herbicide that would kill the weed but not the crop, figuring out when you could spray it, how to spray it, etc, etc, etc.

I kinda' long for the days when spraying pesticides / herbicides / insecticides really took some thought and some considerable knowledge of theory and technique. Let's just leave that hang there....

The old forumulations of 2,4-d, dicambia, and some other herbicides sprayed post emergence with flat fan zozzles blazing away in the breeze under high pressure on hot days in the middle of the afternoon sun certianly caused damage well beyond the intended target! So, maybe we weren't so smart back then. I think I once had the opportunity to own a (dead) vineyard.

From what I read, new low volitility formulations are in-hand and/or right around the corner. One peice of research I just looked at said off-target drift was reduced 94%. One study, I know. Then there are the things we users can control....and we must. Use the right nozzle and pressure to increase droplet size. Keep the boom low(er). Be aware of weather conditions that foster drift and volitilization. I think it just takes more thought and consciouness about the situation.
And, look, the media always needs something to talk (uh, speculate) about.
Dicamba has a much longer residual than either glyphosate or 2,4D amine....dicamba will limit the options for overseeding into beans in fall.