Friday Feature:  Defining GMOs in Food

Friday Feature: Defining GMOs in Food

This week’s featured video was published by Iowa State University to help explain what genetically modified organisms or GMOs are and why these crops are used.  This is a very controversial topic, with contrasting points of view trying to inform consumers about GMOs in foods.  Many consumers really don’t understand what GMOs are, or the science behind their use.  Dr. Ruth Macdon, Chair of the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, Iowa State University provides a science-based overview that can be used to share on social media or shared with people who ask questions about the safety of GMO crops.


If you enjoyed this video, you might want to check out the featured videos from previous weeks:  Friday Features

If you come across an interesting or humorous video, or a new product innovation related to agriculture, please send in a link, so we can share it with our readers. Send video links to:  Doug Mayo

Still Need the Mandatory Dicamba Resistant Crop Training?

Still Need the Mandatory Dicamba Resistant Crop Training?

Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered new dicamba herbicide product formulations for making applications to dicamba tolerant cotton and soybean crops. As a result, many states were overwhelmed with drift complaints regarding sensitive crops. This led to the 2018 EPA announcement requiring that anyone who wishes to apply dicamba to dicamba tolerant crops MUST participate in an auxin herbicide training before making applications in 2018.

[warning]This training is required of anyone applying newer dicamba products registered for use on dicamba tolerant cotton and soybeans.[/warning]

Product examples include XtendiMax, Engenia, and FeXapan. Applicators using older dicamba formulations in other crops (corn, forages, small grains, sorghum, and turf) can still apply dicamba products without having this training but thoseproducts CANNOT be used on the dicamba tolerant crops. If you have questions regarding the use of these products or if you need the training, call your local Extension Office before making any applications.

On March 16, Extension Offices from across the state hosted an online two-hour dicamba training, which was broadcasted live from Gainesville. This training was overseen by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), who determined that the CEU form received from completion of this training would serve as the official documentation of attendance. If applicators desire to use the form for CEUs towards renewal of their pesticide license, they are required to keep an additional copy in their possession as proof of completing the dicamba training.

The training was recorded live and made available to all participating Extension Offices (see below). If you plan to make dicamba applications to dicamba tolerant cotton or soybean, you MUST complete this training before making any applications. The training is not required before planting dicamba genetics, but without the training dicamba cannot be sprayed on the crop. If you plan to spray the crop with dicamba, or want the weed control option later in the season, the training is mandatory.

[important]The recorded training has been made available to all participating Extension Offices. Applicators are required to watch it at the Extension Office, where it can be proctored by an agent who is a certified CEU provider and can issue/sign the CEU form. There are no exceptions, you must watch the training at an Extension Office. In the Panhandle, participating Extension Offices with access to the training include: Calhoun, Escambia, Gadsden, Holmes, Jefferson, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton, and Washington Counties. Contact information for the different offices can be found using the following link: Florida County Extension Offices.[/important]


Permit Required for AgLogic Nematicide Use in Cotton and Peanuts

Permit Required for AgLogic Nematicide Use in Cotton and Peanuts

Ethan Carter, Regional Crop IPM Agent, and Zane Grabau, UF/IFAS Nematologist

Newly registered for Florida, AgLogic 15GG (gypsum formulation) is a granular nematicide available for use in Florida cotton and peanut. The active ingredient in this product is aldicarb, which you may remember was the active ingredient in Temik.

[warning]Producers who plan to utilize this product for the upcoming 2018 crop season are REQUIRED to obtain an aldicarb permit through FDACS PRIOR to any applications being made. A separate permit application is required for each field where aldicarb will be applied.[/warning]

The one page permit application for applying aldicarb in Florida can be downloaded here. Once filled out, the permit application needs to be submitted to Tamara James, FDACS by email or fax (850) 617-7895. The website for submitting applications on the existing Temik page is currently being updated, and will be functioning in the near future.

Aside from the aldicarb permit, producers will also need to be in possession of a restricted use pesticide license, and strictly follow the label instructions for this product. See label for mandatory minimum distances between the nearest well and aldicarb application, as these distances vary based on soil type and well casing.

[important]Grazing restrictions are also associated with this product.  Peanut hay and vines cannot be fed to livestock following AgLogic application. [/important]

This granular product should be applied in-furrow at planting, and may be followed by a post-emergence application before peanut pegging or cotton squaring. The post-emergence application must be side-dressed in an open furrow, and immediately covered with soil. Maximum application rates are 7 lbs./acre at planting for both crops, 5 lbs./acre post-emergence for cotton, and 10 lbs./acre post-emergence for peanut.

Aldicarb Permit Application

Submission contact – Tamara James (email) or fax (850) 617-7895


Soybean Rust Detected in Jackson County

Soybean Rust Detected in Jackson County

Figure 1. Soybean rust was detected on soybean in a soybean sentinel plot in Jackson County, Florida on June 26, 2017. The map above shows scouted and confirmed locations through July 18, 2017 as reported on the USDA IPM PIPE website.

Ian Small, Kelly O’Brien, and David Wright, UF/IFAS NFREC Quincy, and Ethan Carter , UF/IFAS Regional Crop IPM Agent

Soybean rust was confirmed in early-planted soybean sentinel plots on June 26, 2017 at the UF/IFAS Extension Office in Marianna Florida. Ethan Carter, Regional Crop IPM Agent cooperating with Ian Small, and Kelly O’Brien on the monitoring of the sentinel plot, submitted the leaf samples that were analyzed and found to be positive for soybean rust.  Sentinel plots are planted very early, so they are more mature with a more developed canopy than most soybean production fields to serve as an early-warning system for farmers.

Figure 2. Soybean rust on upper (A) and lower (B) leaf surface (Photo credit: Ian Small).

With the unseasonably wet start to summer, conditions have been suitable for soybean rust to produce spores for dispersal.

Figure 3. Map showing rainfall for the previous 45 days (June 1 – July 15) Frequent rainfall has resulted in favorable conditions for soybean rust and many other plant diseases.

Figure 4. Map showing deviation from historical rainfall averages for the southeast US for the past 45 days (June 1 – July 15) Many parts of Alabama, Florida, and Georgia have experienced greater than 14 inches above historical average rainfall.

It will be important for growers to scout for disease and stay on top of their fungicide application programs this year.  Follow updates from USDA Pest Information Platform for Extension and Education (ipmPIPE) to monitor soybean rust distribution in your area.  Several fungicides are available that provide very good control of soybean rust:  UT Fungicide Efficacy for Control of Foliar Soybean Diseases. Be sure to rotate fungicides from different classes to prevent resistance.  Before selecting your fungicide for control, consider other diseases such as Cercospora leaf blight that may also be an issue in your fields.

Each year the rust epidemic typically begins in the Gulf Coast area and spreads north. Monitoring of sentinel plots in Florida plays an important role in providing information to soybean producing states. This sentinel plot monitoring effort was made possible through funding from the Eastern Region Soybean Board (ERSB).


UT Fungicide Efficacy for Control of Foliar Soybean Diseases

USDA site for tracking soybean rust

A farmer’s guide to soybean diseases

Using foliar fungicides to manage soybean rust (updated)


Scout Soybeans for Kudzu Bugs and Redbanded Stink Bugs

Scout Soybeans for Kudzu Bugs and Redbanded Stink Bugs

Soybean sentinel plot in Marianna- Jackson County, Florida. Photo by Ethan Carter.

After a mild winter, with relatively few nights below freezing, it should be no surprise that insect populations are spiking early. One example of this is armyworms, which began showing up in early-mid June across areas of Jackson County, a pest typically found later in July.  In early June, soybean pests have begun to appear in the sentinel plot at the Jackson County Extension Office. The plot was checked for pests at the Scout School on June 8, and aside from beneficial insects, only several brown stink bugs were found.

Kuzu Bugs

By the second week of June (June 13),  kudzu bugs had moved in and were found in high numbers along plot edges.

Six kudzu bugs feeding on a soybean plant. Photo by Ethan Carter.

This follows a similar trend, with kudzu bugs returning in higher numbers this year as compared to the last few. Kudzu bugs feed on sap from the plant’s main stem and leaf petioles using their sucking mouth-parts. The complete life cycle from egg to adult can be achieved in as little as six weeks. The past few years, a beneficial fungus (Beauveria bassiana) helped reduce kudzu bug numbers, hopefully that will happen again this year as well.

Scouting fields will allow you to stay current on the population distribution and determine economic thresholds. When scouting, avoid sampling near border/edge rows which tend to be colonized first. Insecticide applications should only be made when populations reach the necessary threshold levels –  1 nymph per sweep. This may be several weeks from the point of initial infestation. Pyrethroids containing bifenthrin work well against these insects.

Redbanded Stinkbug

Another recent pest to show up in the soybean plot at the county Extension office is the redbanded stink bug.

Adult redbanded stink bug in soybean. Photo by Ethan Carter.

The redbanded stink bug is a key soybean pest in states such as Louisiana and Arkansas, and could be a problem for Florida if it continues to show up in soybean fields. Like other stink bugs, the redbanded uses piercing sucking mouth parts to feed on plant stems, leaves, and pods. That being said, the redbanded stink bug does more damage per individual than any other stink bug species. Growers find they can control southern green and green stink bugs easily enough while the brown stink bugs pose more of a problem, but the redbanded is harder still. There is also a redshouldered stink bug (not a pest) that is similar in appearance to the redbanded, but differs in that the redbanded has an abdominal spine.

Adult redshouldered stink bug. Photo from Bugwood Images.

The redbanded stink bug also typically has two small black spots on its dorsal (back) side (see image below), whereas the redshouldered stink bug does not.

Adult redbanded stink bugs- left side showing two black spots on the dorsal side, right side shows abdominal spine located near where the (removed) legs would join. Photo by Ethan Carter.

The threshold level for redbanded stink bugs used in Alabama for soybeans is 1 per 3ft of row, or 2 per 15 sweeps. While products containing bifenthrin can control brown stink bugs, for the redbanded it is recommended to use the maximum combined rates of bifenthrin and acephate.

For more information or assistance with insect identification, contact your local Extension Office.  For control options use the following publication link:

Alabama Soybean Insect, Disease, Nematode, and Weed Control Recommendations for 2017


XtendiMax, Engenia, and Enlist Duo Now Registered for Use in Florida

XtendiMax, Engenia, and Enlist Duo Now Registered for Use in Florida

Florida farmers now can purchase both 2,4-D and dicamba resistant cotton and soybean seed, as well as the new low-volatility complimentary herbicides developed specifically for these varieties.   Photo: Josh Thompson

Ethan Carter, Regional Crop IPM Agent, Jay Ferrell, and Ramon Leon, UF/IFAS Weed Specialists

Late last week, after much anticipation, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services provided the final approval for use of 2,4-D and dicamba in resistant cotton and soybean cultivars. At time of publication, Florida has approved one 2,4-D product (Enlist Duo from Dow), and two dicamba products (XtendiMax from Monsanto and Engenia from BASF). Fexapan, a third dicamba product from Dupont has not yet been granted approval for use in the state of Florida.

Niether the 2,4-D nor dicamba products are restricted use products, but extreme care should be taken when applying these products as with all pesticides. If using these products, be cognizant of sensitive crops in the area and whether or not neighboring cotton fields are resistant to what you are applying. In Florida, use of all of these new products are governed not only by their product labels, but also the Organo-Auxin Herbicide Rule. Detailed records regarding application information are to be kept for two years, and include but are not limited to, wind speed at time of application, location of treated area, name of treated crop, and name of the product used. The state label and Organo-Auxin Herbicide Rule should be closely inspected before making any chemical applications. If language differs between the two, the application will be designated by whichever is most restrictive. For example, if the product label states a wind speed of 3-15 MPH downwind as acceptable, but the Organo-Auxin Herbicide Rule specifies 3-10 MPH, 10 MPH would be the maximum allowable wind speed. Special attention should be paid to determine buffer areas. The Organo-Auxin Herbidide Rule requires buffer areas that are considerably larger than those required in the federal label of these new herbicide products.

For the most updated and current list of approved nozzles and tank mix partners to be used with Enlist Duo, XtendiMax, and Engenia, routinely visit the XtendiMax™ Herbicide, Engenia Herbicide, and Enlist Duo Herbicide websites. It is important to note that use of any nozzle or tank mix product not specifically approved and listed on these websites would be considered a misuse.

Enlist Duo is a group 4 and 9 herbicide, labeled for weed control and use in Enlist corn, soybeans, and cotton. There are currently no other approved 2,4-D products for use on crops that are 2,4-D-tolerant. The table below, although not an exhaustive list, provides examples of 2,4-D-tolerant cotton varieties.

Table 1. Examples of 2,4-D-tolerant cotton varieties.

Variety Maturity Plant Height
PHY 330 W3FE Early Medium-Tall
PHY 340 W3FE Early Medium-Tall
PHY 380 W3FE Early-Mid Medium-Tall
PHY 450 W3FE Mid Medium-Tall
PHY 460 W3FE Mid Tall
PHY 470 W3FE Mid Medium-Tall
PHY 490 W3FE Mid Medium-Tall

W3FE = WideStrike® 3, Genuity® Roundup Ready® Flex, Enlist™

XtendiMax and Engenia are group 4 herbicides, both labeled for weed control and use in dicamba-tolerant cotton and soybeans. It is important that ammonium sulfate never be added to these product formulations, as it will convert them from low to high volatility. There are currently no other approved products for use on crops that are dicamba-tolerant. The tables below, although not exhaustive lists, provide examples of dicamba-tolerant cotton and soybeans varieties.

Table 2. Examples of dicamba-tolerant cotton varieties.

Variety Maturity Plant Height
DP 1725 B2XF Early-Mid Medium
DP 1747NR B2XF Mid-Full Medium-Tall
DP 1646 B2XF Mid-Full Medium-Tall
DP 1639 B2XF Mid Medium-Tall
DP 1614 B2XF Early Medium
DP 1612 B2XF Early Medium
DP 1553 B2XF Full Medium-Tall
DP 1538 B2XF Mid Tall
DP 1522 B2XF Early-Mid Medium-Tall
DP 1518 B2XF Early Medium

B2XF = Bollgard II® XtendFlex® cotton

Table 2. Examples of dicamba-tolerant soybean varieties.

Variety Trait Maturity
AG40X6 RR2X 4
AG42X6 RR2X 4.2
AG44X6 RR2X 4.4
AG46X6 RR2X 4.6
AG49X6 RR2X 4.9
AG53X6 RR2X 5.3
AG54X6 RR2X 5.4
AG55X7 RR2X 5.5
AG59X7 RR2X 5.9
AG69X6 RR2X 6.9
AG72X7 RR2X 7.2
AG75X6 RR2X 7.5

RR2X = Roundup Ready 2 Xtend™

For more information, refer to the following publication: Using Dicamba in Dicamba-Tolerant Crops, or contact your local industry representative, or your County Extension Agent.