Dan Jilk

by Dan Jilk

Now is the time to start thinking about next year’s seed decisions. One of the most common questions I have been asked is: “Should I plant Xtend soybeans next year?” Xtend soybeans are a new traited soybean seed from Monsanto. They can be sprayed with labeled products that contain glyphosate and dicamba. There are many things to consider before you decide whether you want to purchase them for the 2018 growing season. Let’s look at some considerations:

  • Soybean disease pressure

Growers should evaluate their current soybean disease situation. There were a lot of soybean diseases present in this past growing season. Including White Mold, Sudden Death Syndrome, Brown Stem Rot and Anthracnose.  Some of the fields locally suffered yield losses especially from White Mold and Sudden Death.  If you have a lot of disease pressure, you should plant soybeans with more tolerance to those diseases when possible.

  • Weed resistance

Most of the customers I work with had some issues with soybean weed control this past year. Giant ragweed and water hemp being the main problems. The water hemp has spread to the point that it’s hard to find any field that doesn’t have some in it. Giant ragweed has also become more difficult to control with our current herbicide choices. Xtend soybeans are a good addition to our current options. The use of labeled dicamba mixes with these soybeans gives us an additional mode of action that was not previously available in soybeans. Please continue to use current preemergent programs with the addition of these new post emergent application options to control these troublesome weeds. Any overuse of a single mode of action leads to more potential weed resistant issues.

  • Adjacent crops

Another consideration is what are you and your neighbors are going to plant next to the Xtend soybeans. This is very important whether you plan to spray or if you plan to hire someone to spray. As custom applicators we will need to know this information to make the decision whether we will spray the field with labeled Dicamba products or not. We may refuse to spray Dicamba products if sensitive crops are adjacent or if wind directions and speeds are not favorable.

  • Seed cost

The cost difference between Xtend soybeans and Roundup Ready 2 soybeans varies from 0 to $8 per 140,000 seed unit. We will continue to evaluate the yield as plots come out of these new varieties to help us make choices for the upcoming year.

  • Spray nozzles, tank mixes, and spray adjuvants

The labeled Dicamba products to spray on Xtend soybeans have very specific requirements for approved spray nozzles, approved spray tank mixes, and adjuvants.  These labels are constantly being updated. To stay up to date on XtendiMax, you can go online to see the most recent label requirements at

I hope this information helps you with the decision to plant Xtend soybeans. For more information, please contact your Ag Partners agronomist.