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Here’s the Difference Between Sensitive Areas and Susceptible Crops

Sensitive areas can be habitats for endangered species.

If you’re spraying Enlist Duo herbicide as part of the Enlist weed-control system, be aware there is a difference between sensitive areas and susceptible crops.

In 2018, U.S. farmers are planting Enlist E3 soybeans for production and through an agreement between Corteva Agriscience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont and ADM. Enlist E3 soybeans tolerate applications of 2,4-D choline, glyphosate, and glufosinate.

A susceptible crop – including tomatoes, cotton without the Enlist trait, grapes, tobacco, or pumpkins – is one that is planted in an adjacent field to the sprayed one and negatively impacted, says Dave Hillger, Enlist field specialist for Corteva Agriscience.

“A susceptible crop is a species that can be severely injured by misapplication of Enlist Duo,” says Hillger.

The more challenging one to define is a sensitive area. “A sensitive area could be something as simple as a wetland that is sensitive to off-target movement,” he says. “It also could be areas like fence rows, irrigation ditches, or roadsides along paved roads. They may house endangered species.”  

Exceptions exist, though. “A paved or gravel road that goes by planted acres is not a sensitive area,” says Hillger.

Wind Direction

Spraying guidelines are easy to follow when a wind is blowing toward a susceptible crop.


“These are high-value crops, and it is our commitment not to endanger those crops,” says Hillger. Spraying can commence once the wind blows away from a susceptible crop.

It’s different with sensitive areas. “With tree lines and pastures, we have a distance spacing of 30 feet with Enlist products,” he says.

Besides following these guidelines, properly calibrating a sprayer is a way to help nix off-target movement, says Hillger.  So is communication between applicators and neighboring farmers.

Finally, read the label. “On the day of application, understand what the label tells you,” says Hillger. “Check wind speed and direction when you get to the field you’re spraying and continue to monitor during the application.”

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