By Darren Hefty

Brian and I both like to take a lot of notes whenever we are presented with interesting information.  Recently I was looking back through some notes from the fall of 2006.  At that time, I was already being told dicamba tolerant beans would be coming very soon, possibly in the spring of 2008!  Wow!  That’s a long time ago.  Fortunately, Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans are fully launched now because we need more options for weed control in soybeans, and we’re always looking for higher yielding genetics.  Here are a few myths out there today and my take on what’s real and what’s not.

MYTH: Dicamba is not labeled for in-crop use

FACT: Xtendimax, Monsanto’s dicamba product that contains dicamba plus the new Vapor Grip additive to reduce volatility, is now labeled in the U.S.  However, state registrations are still pending in some states but are expected to come very soon.

MYTH: The Xtendimax label requires a buffer around the entire field.

FACT: There is actually a spray buffer, but just to sensitive crops when the wind is blowing that direction.  Also, Monsanto is working with the EPA to approve various tankmixes, adjuvants, and additional drift control nozzles.

MYTH: I can eliminate pre herbicide usage.

FACT:  You absolutely need a pre-emerge herbicide program in front of all soybeans if you are going for the best weed control, highest yield, and most profit per acre.  I’d suggest using the 3 PRE strategy we often talk about with metribuzin plus a yellow plus either Authority or Valor.  In fact, with Roundup Ready Plus there are nice rebates on chemistries like these.  Plus, with a good pre program you can save money by spraying Xtendimax once instead of twice post-emerge.

MYTH: Xtend soybeans are a lot more expensive than straight Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans

FACT: Up front, they are slightly higher.  However, Monsanto has higher rebates on Xtend, so the net price ends up almost the same, depending on the seed company and your overall herbicide program.  Seed suppliers who don’t have many units of Xtend to sell are typically charging a much higher price for Xtend than RR2Y beans, but this isn’t true for everyone.  For companies with good supply, Xtend is more reasonably priced.

MYTH:  No seed company can supply you with enough Xtend beans for your whole farm this year.

FACT:  We believe there are enough Xtend soybeans out there for 20% to 30% of the total U.S. market this year, and as of today available supplies are still enormous.  If you want Xtend for your whole farm, there are definitely companies who have enough seed to take care of you.

MYTH:  There is yield drag with Xtend soybeans.

FACT:  We raised Xtend soybeans on almost every soybean acre of our farm for the 2nd year in a row.  We set a whole farm record yield once again this year at just shy of 70 bushels per acre.  There is no yield drag.  Again, companies who don’t have supply are often telling stories about poor performance that just aren’t true.  Check out the yield trials across the country at places like and others.

ONE LAST FACT:  We had 71 different Xtend varieties from every maturity group planted in the U.S. on our farm this year.  There is a lot of good material in the Roundup Ready 2 Xtend platform.  We expect Xtend to be on a majority of U.S. soybean acres by 2018, and tens of millions of acres this year.  If you have Roundup-resistant weeds, we strongly encourage you to switch to either LibertyLink soybeans or Xtend.