Resistant weeds were so bad on his farm three years ago that John Malazzo only harvested 80 percent of his cotton crop that season. Today, the Caldwell, Texas, farmer has found a solution to the problem in Bollgard® 3 XtendFlex® cotton.
Fast forward to 2018; Malazzo planted all of his acres to cotton with XtendFlex Technology, keeping an eye on the new Bollgard 3 XtendFlex variety he planted. His weed control program was simple, based on sound recommendations and applied with a focus on detail. About 68 days after planting, he was looking at a field with good weed control.
"You can use this system safely and effectively, but you have to have patience because the time and the conditions have to be right in order to make a dicamba application," Malazzo says. "Wind speed and direction are important considerations. You also have to be aware of what is sitting downwind from the field, and sometimes that takes talking to your neighbors. Get the information beforehand and follow the label."
This season, Malazzo used a burndown application 30 days prior to planting with Gramoxone® SL 2.0. He applied Treflan™ahead of the planter and hoped for rainfall to activate. Weather and wind conditions forced him to make the first postemergence application of Warrant® Herbicide, Roundup PowerMAX® herbicide and XtendiMax® herbicide with VaporGrip® Technology, a restricted use pesticide, 45 days after planting, a little later than he'd like to spray.
With the application, he was targeting waterhemp, Palmer amaranth and panicum grass growing in fields. He monitored fields for weed emergence for the rest of the summer, making a second application of XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology, along with Roundup PowerMAX, where needed. Malazzo attended dicamba training and monitored the RRXtend Spray App, both of which greatly helped him, he says.
"The main feature of the RRXtend Spray App that I like is getting an estimate on temperature inversion chances," says Malazzo. "Inversion is something I did not know to check for last year. Monsanto did a good job of training us this season, before we went into the field, and taught us about temperature inversion risks. I think the training and the app have helped to prevent a lot of issues with off-target movement in the Brazos River Bottoms region this season."
In the end, it's about getting good weed control and growing high-yielding cotton — and Malazzo gets both with Bollgard 3 XtendFlex varieties.
"The XtendFlex Technology is very effective, and the varieties perform," says Malazzo, who has farmed for more than 35 years. "In our on-farm cotton trials, we are seeing increases in yield potential with each new class of varieties launched. We've got good weed control, and yield keeps getting better."
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