Statements | April 27, 2018 | Read Time: 4 minutes
Dicamba and the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System
Helping farmers protect their crops from troublesome weeds is a key focus for Monsanto. Weeds steal sunlight, water, and nutrients from crops and can ruin a harvest. To effectively manage weeds, farmers need access to a variety of crop protection tools.
XtendiMax® with VaporGrip® Technology (“XtendiMax”) is Monsanto’s latest offering to help soybean and cotton farmers control weeds, including the infamous Palmer Amaranth (aka “pigweed”). An individual pigweed can grow quickly to 10-feet tall and can produce half a million seeds that will infest farm fields if left uncontrolled. In fact, pigweeds can lead to 79 percent yield loss in soybeans if left uncontrolled.1
XtendiMax, which is a dicamba-based herbicide, was available to U.S. farmers for the first time in 2017. Soybean growers reported 97 percent weed control satisfaction and soybean field trials showed a 5.7 bushel/acre competitive yield advantage.2 Due to the outstanding performance of XtendiMax, we expect growers to plant nearly 50 million acres of our complementary soybeans and cotton in 2018, which is double 2017 acreage. Farmers clearly see the value in this breakthrough weed control technology.
Preparing for a Successful 2018 Growing Season
Growers are set to have even more success with XtendiMax in 2018. Based on learnings from the 2017 season, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made some enhancements to the XtendiMax product label. The enhancements, which were proposed by Monsanto, include mandatory training, new record keeping requirements, and a Restricted Use Pesticide (RUP) designation, which will limit sale and use to certified applicators or those acting under their supervision.
Leading up to the 2018 growing season, Monsanto and others offered hundreds of training sessions to help reinforce proper use of XtendiMax and other low-volatility dicamba products. Click here for a March 2018 training overview and update from Dr. Robb Fraley, Monsanto’s Chief Technology Officer. As of April 4, 2018, Monsanto has trained more than 25,000 farmers and applicators.
Beyond training, we are taking a variety of steps to help our customers use XtendiMax successfully in 2018, including:
- Launched the new RRXtend Spray App to help customers avoid problematic weather
- Distributed more than 1,000,000 label-compliant spray nozzles to customers at no cost
- Setup the 1-844-RR-XTEND technical support call center as a resource for applicators
As of April 4, 2018, the RRXtend Spray App has been downloaded more than 9,500 times. Following is a video of Monsanto employees explaining the app’s features.
With these and other enhancements in place, we are confident growers will have even more success with XtendiMax in 2018.
More Collaboration and Dialogue in 2018
Collaboration among the agriculture community is key to the success of any new agricultural technology, including XtendiMax. Monsanto is fully committed to ensuring ample opportunity for dialogue and information sharing in 2018. Dr. Fraley recently outlined this commitment and noted some examples of collaborative efforts underway, including dicamba field trials we are conducting with academic partners. We will share the field trial results and other learnings from the season with the agriculture community in a timely fashion. Stay tuned to this webpage for regular updates.
Comprehensive Testing of our Dicamba Product
Dicamba, the active ingredient in XtendiMax, was first approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1967 and has been used by farmers, homeowners, and others to control weeds for decades. XtendiMax, which was approved for use by the EPA in November 2016, is unique because it reduces volatility potential by 90 percent compared to the older dicamba-based products.
Before it was approved for use, XtendiMax was comprehensively tested to ensure it could be used safely and effectively. These tests were conducted according to Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) standards, which is considered among the highest standard of scientific testing in the world. These tests confirmed the significant reduction in volatility compared to previous generations of dicamba products.
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