From chemistry class to a history lesson, a recap of the smart science behind Engenia® herbicide
To find out what’s at the scientific heart of the latest dicamba technology — Engenia herbicide from BASF — we need to take a step back into the chemistry classroom and talk about acids, bases and the power of salt.
But first, a short history lesson:
In the last several years, the number and extent of glyphosate-resistant weeds has been growing — dramatically in some areas. In fact, there are currently 17 species of glyphosate-resistant weeds in the U.S., with 38 states affected by at least one species. As every grower knows, weed pressure can cause crop losses — sometimes severe. The need for growers to get control back in the field has become acute.
Enter BASF, along with a few other industry partners, bringing the creation of new technologies to market in the last year.
Now, back to chemistry class …
Dicamba is an acid, and various forms of it, including formulations with chemical shorthand names like DMA and DGA, have been around since BASF first invented dicamba more than 50 years ago. With its 2017 release of Engenia herbicide — the most flexible and advanced dicamba for dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton — BASF did two things:
- It created a broad-spectrum solution that gives control back to famers by handling the toughest broadleaf weeds, including many resistant species like Palmer amaranth, waterhemp and giant ragweed.
- It created an innovative formulation that lowers the risk of volatility by up to 90% compared with DGA dicambas.
That formulation is called BAPMA.
(Actual formula: N,N-Bis-(3-aminopropyl)methylamine!)
Here’s how BAPMA chemistry lowers volatility risk: BAPMA is the base that combines with the dicamba acid, forming an ionic compound, or salt. What makes BAPMA dicamba unique is the strength of the bond between the acid and base. This stronger bond, combined with a higher molecular weight, is what allows BAPMA to mitigate the potential for secondary loss and off-target movement (the acid separating from the base and moving elsewhere as a gas).
Another benefit stemming from BAPMA’s concentrated formulation is the use rate for Engenia herbicide. At 12.8 fl. oz./A, it has the lowest use rate of any dicamba product on the market, making it well suited for direct injection, which can save applicators time and money and help maintain stewardship in buffer zones.
To put the unique chemistry of Engenia herbicide in perspective, BASF essentially wiped the slate clean in the lab and started over, building a new dicamba from the molecule up. Other dicamba products on the market took existing dicamba formulations and only included an additive to try to control volatility.
The lesson learned from glyphosate’s history is that no one product is the answer. BASF and others encourage growers to use a layered approach to help maintain good weed control while practicing resistance management.
Another key aspect of using BAPMA dicamba is stewardship. BASF’s long-standing responsibility to stewardship led to the creation of a one-of-a-kind educational program, called the Engenia Herbicide On Target Application Academy (OTAA). Featuring some of the top minds in herbicide application technology in the country, OTAA sessions — in-person sessions and an online training module — teach growers and applicators how to minimize drift and make applications of Engenia herbicide accurately and effectively. For more about Engenia herbicide, visit engeniaherbicide.com.
Engenia herbicide is a U.S. EPA Restricted Use Pesticide. Additional State restrictions may apply.Always read and follow label directions. Engenia is a registered trademark of BASF.