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