Editor's Notebook: Don't Forget to Read Those Labels

February 11, 2017 02:27 AM
Editor's Notebook: Don't Forget to Read Those Labels

I have to admit, I’m not one for reading labels. They’re boring and usually written in small type. I typically try to figure out whatever I need to know myself and let the chips fall.

That’s not a good idea, especially if you’re a farmer.

It’s never been more important to read the labels of the inputs you use, whether they’re brand new, such as the ones for Engenia and XtendiMax, or for the glyphosate you’ve used for years. The information on those labels will tell you what you need to know to ensure we have these technologies to use for as long as we need them to fight weed resistance.

As Farm Journal Seeds and Production Editor Sonja Begemann explains, weeds cost farmers around $4 billion every year, and resistance hasn’t gone away. 

In fact, even as new tools are available for your toolbox, resistance will only get worse if farmers don’t live up to high standards of stewardship on every acre, every season.

For instance, do you know what your neighbor is planting this year? If it’s LibertyLink or non-GMO soybeans, and you’re planning to use new dicamba formulations Engenia or XtendiMax, you have a lot more talking to do to avoid a problem. 

Like Sonja writes, you can’t “spray your way” out of a resistance challenge. It’s not that simple. Don’t just up your application rate; use three modes of action for every targeted weed, and old-school modes count too, such as tillage and crop rotation. 

And just because a product has federal approval doesn’t mean there aren’t state or county regulations you need to be aware of. This is especially true in the case of dicamba use in Arkansas, Indiana and, perhaps soon, Missouri. 

As we prepare to plant the first seeds of 2017, we wish you good fortune, a safe season and the fortitude to read and follow those labels. 

We Hope to See You at One of Our Upcoming Events

Drover’s Cowboy College
June 20–21, Springfield, Mo.
Aug. 16–17, Kearney, Neb.

Tomorrow’s Top Producer
July 20–21, Nashville, Tenn. 

Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour
Aug. 20–24 

MILK Business Conference
Nov. 6–8, Las Vegas, Nev.

Executive Women in Agriculture
Nov. 29–Dec. 1, Chicago, Ill.

Farm Journal AgTech Expo
Dec. 11-13, Indianapolis, Ind.

To learn more and register, call (877) 482-7203 or visit www.FarmJournal.com/trainings



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