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What’s New in Herbicide Technology for 2017

No truly new herbicides, but dicamba-tolerant soybeans are ready for a complete system rollout in 2017.

Each year, ag chemical companies roll out what they refer to as new herbicides for managing weeds in corn and soybeans. In reality, these “new” products are just premixes of herbicides with existing sites of action. The last truly new herbicide site of action for corn and soybeans were the HPPD inhibitors (Callisto, Corvus, and Balance Flexx) that started to be commercialized in the late 1990s. 

Instead, the industry has shifted from developing herbicides with new sites of action to traits that enable crops to tolerate herbicides with existing action sites. 

However, tweaks made with premixes can add convenience and may broaden weed spectrums, given sufficient active ingredient levels. Ditto for label changes that occur each year.

Here’s a list of developments that will be in place in 2017 or in the near future as rounded up by Mike Owen, Iowa State University Extension weed specialist. 

Dicamba Tolerance

Monsanto’s dicamba-tolerant herbicide system will fully debut in 2017. Federal regulators have approved Monsanto’s Xtendimax with VaporGrip Technology. DuPont will also market its own brand of dicamba with Vapor Grip technology called FeXapan, through an arrangement with Monsanto. 

Also approved is BASF’s Engenia, another low-volatile dicamba formulation. Monsanto also has another herbicide for its dicamba-tolerant system that hadn’t received federal approval at presstime. Roundup Xtend with Vapor Grip Technology is a premix of glyphosate and a low-volatile dicamba formulation.

Other Systems

Enlist Duo is registered and is available for non-Enlist corn and soybean as preplant burndown and preemergence (corn) and preplant burndown (soybeans). However, it’s not available for postemergence use until crops in the Enlist Weed Control System are approved by China. At presstime, that had not occurred. 

The Balance GT Soybean Performance System is a collaboration between MS Technologies, Bayer, and Mertec LLC. Its Balance GT trait confers tolerance to glyphosate and isoxaflutole, the active ingredient in the system’s Balance Bean herbicide. Corn farmers have used isoxaflutole for years in herbicides like Balance Flexx and Corvus. 

The Balance GT trait has received all necessary import approvals from foreign customers. However, the system won’t be commercially available until Balance Bean herbicide receives EPA approval. Company officials say this likely won’t occur for the 2017 growing season, but it should be in place for a full-scale launch in 2018.

Zidua Pro

BASF’s Zidua Pro contains pyroxasulfone that belongs to herbicide group (HG) 15. It also contains imazethapyr (HG2) and saflufenacil (HG14). Zidua Pro is also labeled for burndown and preemergence uses in soybean at 4.5 to 6.0 fluid ounces per acre. Optimal burndown of emerged weeds requires MSO and a nitrogen source. 

No planting interval restriction is listed for Zidua Pro except when applications are made on coarse-texture soils with less than 2% organic matter where a 30-day interval between application and planting is required. 

A preemergence application is available for BASF’s Armezon Pro (HG27 and HG15) corn label. 

Zidua’s (HR15) postemergence application window in soybeans has been expanded to allow treatment from emergence to the third trifoliate stage. 

DiFlexx Duo

Bayer CropScience obtained registration of DiFlexx Duo for field corn, white corn, seed corn, and popcorn in spring 2016. DiFlexx Duo combines tembotrione (HG27), dicamba (HG4), and the safener cyprosulfamide. DiFlexx Duo is registered for preemergence and postemergence (up to V10 corn stage) use. 


Dow AgroSciences’ Resicore was approved in 2016 for application in field corn, seed corn, silage corn, and yellow popcorn for preemergence application. It contains acetochlor (HG15), mesotrione (HG27), and clopyralid (HG4). 

DuPont’s Realm Q and Afforia

DuPont’s Realm Q (HG2 and HG27) is now registered for aerial application; dicamba (HG 4) has been added as a tank mix partner. Aerial application of HG27 and HG4 herbicides represents a potentially serious risk for off-target herbicide movement, says Owen. 

Afforia can be applied either preplant or preemergence to any soybeans at 2.5 ounces per acre. Preemergence applications must be made within three days after planting and prior to emergence. When used with Bolt soybean varieties, the Afforia rate can be increased to 2.5 to 3.75 ounces per acre for either preplant or preemergence applications. The Bolt technology provides enhanced tolerance to sulfonylurea herbicides (HG2). 

Nufarm’s Cheetah, Panther SC, and Scorch

Cheetah contains glufosinate ammonium (HG10) for nonselective postemergence application in corn and soybeans with the LibertyLink trait. 

Panther SC is a 4-pound-active-ingredient-per-gallon formulation of flumioxazin (HG14). It’s registered for preplant burndown application in corn three to 30 days prior to planting. Panther SC can be applied prior to soybean planting or preemergence within three days after planting and prior to soybean emergence. 

Scorch contains dicamba, 2,4-D, and fluroxypyr, all HG4 herbicides. It can be applied preplant, preemergence, and postemergence in field corn. Postemergence applications can be broadcast to V5 or 8-inch-high corn. Applications made from V6 to 36-inch-high corn (or 15 days prior to tasseling) must be made with directed drop nozzles. 

Acuron Flexi 

Syngenta’s Acuron Flexi is a premixture of bicyclopyrone (HG27), mesotrione (HG27), and S-metolachlor (HG15). It is registered for preplant, preemergence, and post-emergence application in field corn, seed corn, and silage corn. Sweet corn and yellow popcorn cannot be treated with Acuron Flexi.

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