Prepared by Mike Marshall, Extension Weed Specialist, Clemson University
Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybean varieties are now commercially available for planting in 2016. These soybeans offer over-the-top tolerance to both dicamba and glyphosate herbicides. However, as of the writing of this article (5/9/16), dicamba herbicide (any formulation currently on the market) cannot be legally sprayed in Xtend soybean (or XtendFlex cotton). Federal and state regulatory officials are closely monitoring these technologies (Enlist and Xtend) closely for any slip-ups (i.e., such as finding illegal residues of dicamba in these crops at the time of harvest). Misuse of this technology could further delay and/or hamper future development of new herbicide-tolerant technology in the U.S. In addition, Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans have not yet received all key export partner approvals at this time (European Union approval is still pending). This means Xtend soybeans will have to be segregated after harvest to prevent contamination of legally approved soybeans in the grain channel if full approval is not obtained by the end of the season. Growers are advised to consider the additional cost of cleaning their harvest machinery, grain carts and trucks, and storage facilities when planting these soybeans. These are precautions growers should take into account when making decisions about planting soybeans in 2016.