Comparing Soybean Herbicide Trait Fit

Weed management in soybeans has become more challenging over the last decade as the broad-spectrum control of glyphosate has become less consistent due to weed resistance. This has increased complexity when developing weed management plans. Recent introductions of soybean herbicide traits provide new management options, but they also increase the knowledge base required to determine the appropriate choice. In many cases, effective control of glyphosate-resistant weeds may still be accomplished without depending solely on new herbicide traits that allow the use of group 4 (synthetic auxin) herbicides on soybeans. Enlist E3®, Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® and LibertyLink® GT27™ traits provide additional advantages for managing biotypes of weeds resistant to group 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, 14 and 27 herbicides. Marestail, ragweed, waterhemp and Palmer amaranth are widely known to be resistant to many of the same herbicide groups in various combinations. Even with new trait options, fundamental weed management practices are still critical to achieve good weed control.
  1. Start clean: Tillage or burndown herbicides are essential to control emerged weeds prior to crop emergence.
  2. Residual control importance: Preemergence herbicides with residual activity minimize seedbank emergence early in the season, allow the crop canopy to establish quickly and reduce later weed emergence.
  3. Post-emergence spraying within labeled weed heights: Residual herbicides help delay weed emergence and minimize weed height at time of post-emergence spray applications. Post-emergence control is greatly improved when herbicides are applied to smaller weeds.
Considerations for Selecting the Soybean Trait Option that Works Best for You
  1. Complimentary herbicide combinations based on individual weed species effectiveness: Each individual field has different combinations of problematic weeds to control. Understanding weed seed banks can help determine the best soybean herbicide trait platform to enable herbicide options that provide the greatest overall weed control. The weed control efficacy chart (table 1) illustrates the strengths of herbicides labeled for use within specific herbicide trait systems. Depending upon the weed species, an individual or a combination of herbicides may have unique advantages. The ability to apply an approved synthetic auxin (2,4-D and dicamba) or Liberty® herbicides provides unique control advantages with waterhemp, Palmer amaranth and giant ragweed resistant to glyphosate and other herbicides. (Chart reflects glyphosate efficacy on non-resistant weed species.) Post-emergence herbicide plans should take the frequency of glyphosate resistance into consideration and use specific herb2,4-D 
  2. Burndown options: Managing emerged weeds prior to crop emergence in no-till systems is important. Herbicides such as glyphosate, 2,4-D ester, dicamba, Liberty or paraquat can provide great options for managing winter annuals and perennial weeds prior to planting. Planting intervals restrict how soon planting can occur after burndown applications when using 2,4-D or dicamba herbicides. Roundup Ready 2 Xtend and Enlist E3 trait systems provide additional options to use approved dicamba and 2,4-D herbicides respectively (not interchangeable) when burndown and planting dates need to occur closer together. The extended planting interval from dicamba use likely limits the usage of this herbicide unless planting Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans and using approved formulations.
  3. Post-emergence tank mix flexibility: Simultaneously controlling emerged grass and broadleaf weeds in a single application is highly advantageous. Glyphosate provides excellent grass control, but due to the number of broadleaf weed species that have become resistant to glyphosate, it is increasingly important to include a second mode of action for effective broad-spectrum control. Repeated use of approved dicamba or 2,4-D as a single effective mode of action on glyphosate-resistant weeds will only further increase weed resistance selection pressure for both herbicides. One advantage of Enlist E3 systems is the ability to spray Liberty (or glyphosate) and approved Enlist herbicides together, giving two effective modes of action against glyphosate-resistant weeds. Upon approval, Roundup Ready 2 Xtend ® soybeans stacked with LibertyLink™ will provide tolerance to dicamba + Liberty, although spray volume and nozzle requirements needed for Liberty will not be well suited for dicamba based herbicide tank mixes.
  4. Application and stewardship requirements: Enlist Duo® applied to Enlist E3 soybeans offers the least restrictive application window (through R2) of all 3 systems.
    • Adding Liberty further limits applications to R1.
    • Dicamba based herbicide application windows can be more restrictive than the R1 growth stage due to requirements to apply within 45 days of planting. In years with slow emergence, soybeans may not emerge for 30+ days.
    • Xtend and Enlist® systems both have stewardship requirements, although Enlist systems are less restrictive.
    1. A key difference between the 2 systems is the 110foot downwind sensitive area buffer requirement of Xtend in comparison to the 30-foot downwind requirement for Enlist.
    2. In addition to distance, it is acceptable to spray Enlist herbicides when wind is blowing toward soybeans without the Enlist trait, although it is not acceptable to spray Xtend herbicides if wind is blowing in the direction of soybeans without the Xtend trait.
Stewardship requirements may be complex and unique to each field and herbicide system being used. To ensure correct application, refer to the product use guides on each trait system for specific requirements.

Overall Program Effectiveness Summary
Each herbicide trait system offers advantages over glyphosate-only options. However, a holistic comparison of all 3 systems favors Enlist E3 soybeans over the other 2 systems for the following reasons:
  1. The cumulative “excellent” efficacy ratings across key weed species when applying Enlist One® + Liberty outnumber Xtend herbicides + glyphosate “excellent” ratings.
  2. The flexibility to tank mix post-emergence applications of Enlist One herbicide with Liberty or glyphosate (premix of Enlist Duo).
    • Enlist One + Liberty provides more effective modes of action for glyphosate-resistant weeds in a single application than if using Xtend herbicides or Liberty.
  3. Enlist Duo provides a wider window of application than other systems.
  4. There is less risk of off-site movement than when using Xtend herbicides.
  5. Enlist herbicides are not restricted use and do not require special applicator certifications whereas Xtend herbicides do.
  6. There are less restrictive stewardship requirements than with Xtend systems.
  7. There is no planting interval restriction with Enlist E3 soybeans after application of 2,4-D herbicides, whereas LibertyLink GT27 has restrictions.

Please contact your local Golden Harvest Seed Advisor or agronomist with any questions.

Photos are either the property of Syngenta or used under agreement.
Syngenta hereby disclaims liability for third-party websites.

Enlist E3® soybean technology is jointly developed with Dow AgroSciences LLC and MS Technologies LLC. Enlist E3® is a trademark of Dow AgroSciences LLC. LivertyLink®, Liberty® and the Water Droplet logo are registered trademarks of BASF. GT27 is a trademark of M.S. Technologies and BASF. The Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® trait may be protected under numerous United States patents. It is unlawful to save Roudup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans for planting or transfer to others for use as a planting seed. Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® is a trademark used under license from Monsanto Technology LLC.

©2020 Syngenta. The trademarks or service marks displayed or otherwise used herein are the property of a Syngenta Group Company. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


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