Summer Learning Opportunities Preview the Latest in Crop Protection Practices, Technologies


Farmers throughout the country will have many opportunities to attend learning events this summer as the industry pushes for more education on diversified weed management practices (DWMPs) and insight into the seed, trait and herbicide technologies expected to soon become available.

A greater number of in-field, educational events in 2013 reflects the motivation of academics, farmers, manufacturers and retailers to get ahead of the learning curve for using new weed management technologies before the products enter the marketplace.

“Looking back to the mid-1990s, the introduction of Roundup Ready® herbicide-tolerant crops started a new phase of crop management,” says Dr. Bryan Young, professor and weed scientist at Southern Illinois University. “Today, we’re moving into another phase of crop management, and life will not be as simple as it was when only glyphosate was used to control all weeds. Not only will we have new herbicide technologies, we’ll also have new seed-trait technologies combined with them in some weed management systems.”

Dr. Young notes that changes in crop production make it all the more critical to take advantage of learning events this summer. “Seeing and hearing information firsthand has more impact, and the participant has more room for personal interpretation. It may be difficult for people to find the time, but these learning opportunities are now more important than ever,” Young says.

This summer, Monsanto is planning a robust educational program called the Roundup Ready® Learning Xperience, a series of events aimed at transferring knowledge about the Roundup Ready® Xtend™ Crop System to seed dealers, retailers and others. Pending regulatory approvals, the Roundup Ready® Xtend™ Crop System will introduce Roundup Ready 2 Xtend™ soybeans, which are tolerant to dicamba and glyphosate herbicides. Featuring in-field training demonstrations, the Learning Xperience events will be held at more than 20 locations across major U.S. soybean-growing regions, specifically selected to show how the system will work across many environments.

Many farm supply companies also are preparing for new weed management technologies and application practices by attending available training and sponsoring learning opportunities for their own customers.

Dr. Jason Weirich, MFA Director of Agronomy, says, “We recognize changes are coming to weed management with the new crop systems headed down the pipeline, and we’re preparing for them.”

MFA operates more than 350 spray rigs across its trade areas in Missouri, Iowa, Arkansas and Kansas, and supplies seed and herbicides to farmers.

“Retailers, applicators, farmers and agronomists need to be at summer learning opportunities,” says Dr. Weirich, who plans to attend events such as university-hosted field days and Roundup Ready Learning Xperience events. “We need to know how to use the new seed and herbicide technologies to better ourselves and our farming operations. It’s important to have consistent messages on proper use so that we can be good stewards of the new technologies.”

Each Learning Xperience site will include plots that demonstrate local Roundup Ready PLUS® Weed Management Solutions recommendations in action, as well as small-field trials showcasing the efficacy and crop safety of the Roundup Ready Xtend™ Crop System. Participants in the Learning Xperience events will get a firsthand, close-up preview of the latest innovations – management practices, seed and traits, expert perspectives and more. (For a map of Learning Xperience locations go to

“Monsanto wants to prepare retailers and applicators to effectively use the Roundup Ready Xtend™ Crop System to help achieve optimum yield potentials and a high level of efficacy on tough-to-manage and resistant weeds,” says Michelle Vigna, Monsanto Roundup Ready Xtend™ launch manager. “Our Learning Xperience events will offer training on application requirements, weed control recommendations using herbicides with multiple modes of action and many other key management practices to enhance crop production outcomes.” (For a MP3 file of quote, go to

Most major companies will focus on making educational opportunities available this summer, says Dr. Robert E. Wolf, application technology specialist, consultant and professor emeritus at Kansas State University. Dr. Wolf currently operates Wolf Consulting and Research based in Mahomet, Ill., and advises crop protection companies nationwide.

Dr. Wolf recommends that retailers, applicators and farmers take advantage of these training opportunities to get a jumpstart on the proper application practices required with new seed and herbicide systems. On-target application, drift reduction, proper nozzle selection, boom height and operating speed, as well as tank cleanout procedures, are among the many components that factor into proper application and effective, sustainable weed control.

“We will need to be more diverse in application approaches, which will change the habits of many people who became too focused on the simplicity of using one herbicide,” says Dr. Wolf. “Changing application practices will be a challenge for those who have never used diverse application approaches and for people who may have not used them in many years.”

Retailers, applicators and others may learn more about these important dicamba application practices by attending the Roundup Ready Learning Xperience events.

“Everyone involved in using the new technologies will need knowledge about the issues and variables to consider,” says Dr. Wolf. “It’s best to prepare now by participating in learning opportunities which will help individuals be ready for widespread use when the technologies advance to the marketplace.”

2013 Agronomy Events

Looking for an opportunity this summer to learn more about the latest in crop production research and technology? If so, you’re in luck. Universities, manufacturers, ag retailers and others are planning a busy schedule of events to showcase the latest knowledge, products and expertise for attaining maximum yield and profit potentials.

Check university websites, talk to a local extension agent or contact your crop protection representative to find learning events in your area. While calendars for the 2013 summer learning opportunities are still being finalized, some are scheduled. You may want to look for events in your area similar to the following:

Roundup Ready Learning Xperience

Monsanto will showcase the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System and highlight weed-control benefits, proper system use and application requirements, as well as advantages of incorporating dicamba into the system. More than 20 locations in 19 states will host invitation-only events for retailers from June through August. For more information, go to or contact a local Monsanto representative.

For a schedule of additional 2013 agronomy events go to