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June Agronomy Update

Posted on June 18, 2020

The Andersons Agronomy Update: July 2018

The vacatur issued on June 3, 2020, by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has canceled the use of XtendiMax® with VaporGrip® Technology, Engenia®, and FeXapan as an over the top (OTT) herbicide. The EPA has since come out with a clarification statement and may have inevitably muddied the waters. In response, Bayer, BASF, and Corteva Agriscience must stop shipments of their respective dicamba herbicides affected by this court ruling. The agriculture industry is in a conundrum about planned early post-emergence herbicide applications to dicamba-tolerant (DT) soybeans. The original plan was to apply one of the three OTT dicamba herbicides to take care of hard-to-kill weed species invading soybean fields. Growers are now looking at other herbicide options, some of which can stress soybeans and set them back a few weeks in development. 

The best option for killing glyphosate-resistant weeds in a soybean system where Liberty®, dicamba, or Enlistcan not be applied safely OTT is to apply a protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO, site of action group 14). The main concern when applying a PPO is the tissue burn on the soybean plant that shows up as a side effect. The burn is sometimes mistaken as the mode of action, but this is not true, as it is merely a side effect. To help the plant recovery process, The Andersons recommends adding Phosfix® (1pt/ac) and Sweet ‘N Eezy™ (1qt/ac) with each application of a PPO herbicide. Phosfix contains cytokinin, gibberellic acid, and auxins that help with cell division, cell elongation, and cell differentiation, respectively. Phosfix will help the plant recover quickly and alleviate the stress that comes with an application of a PPO herbicide, Figure 1. The plant-based sugar in Sweet ‘N Eezy is like the fire starter when you build a bonfire; it will allow the plant to rapidly absorb the nutrients in Phosfix.

Figure 1: The images above are from a field in Indiana taken in July 2017. The soybeans in the image on the left were treated with 3.5pt/ac of Flexstar® GT. The soybeans in the image on the right were treated with 3.5pt/ac of Flexstar GT plus 1pt/ac of Phosfix.

One of the most stressful developmental stages of a soybean plant is the R3 growth stage. This stage is reached when a ¼ inch pod develops on one of the four uppermost nodes of the plant. The R3 stage is when the soybean plant begins producing seeds. Any stress at this stage will have a negative impact and directly affect yield. Stress can come from weather, insects, disease, or nutrient deficiency. Disease and insect pressure can be mitigated by an application of the appropriate pesticide. Nutrient deficiencies, and to an extent, weather stress can be lessened by applying a high-quality foliar fertilizer. The plant takes up water not only for hydration but to satisfy nutritional requirements. If nutrient needs are met with the application of a foliar fertilizer such as Over Pass® SF, water needs of the plant are reduced.

Soybean plants are not alone when it comes to in-season stress; the excessive rain and cold weather the corn crop endured early in the season has put many acres into a down-hill slide. Sulfur deficiency is prevalent this year in countless cornfields, Figure 2. The application of Sweet ‘N Eezy at a rate of 1qt/ac and Over Pass CF at a rate of 2gal/ac will help the corn crop recover from in-season nutrient deficiencies. Similar to when Sweet ‘N Eezy is combined with Phosfix as previously described, the plant-based sugar will allow the plant to rapidly absorb the nutrients in Over Pass CF. Over Pass CF has slow release nitrogen and 1% sulfur to correct the nutrient deficiency while not damaging the plant tissue. Over Pass CF is an excellent addition to the fungicide application during the corn VT stage or tassel. Over Pass CF includes 0.5% boron in the analysis. Boron is highly immobile in the corn plant and is used in large quantities during the plant’s reproductive stage.

Figure 2: This photo taken outside Walton, Indiana, on 6/10/20 shows how sulfur deficiencies will present in a corn plant. Sulfur is immobile in the plant so it will show up in the newer leaves first. Always tissue test to assure a correct diagnosis. Don’t guess, tissue test!

In conclusion, do not settle for stressed-out plants due to herbicides or deficiencies in your cropping system. It’s best not to stress! Contact your local sales representative for more information about in-season crop needs.


Phosfix has earned the PFR Proven™ endorsement by Beck’s Hybrids. Phosfix has been tested for three consecutive years and has provided a positive yield increase each of those three years. Over the course of three years, Phosfix has an average yield advantage of 2.8bu/acre compared to the untreated check.

In the cropping season of 2019, a yield increase of 9.05bu/ac was realized where Over Pass SF was applied at 1gal/acre at the R3 growth stage. This increase was observed even though the soybean plot received less than two inches of rain during pod development.


In 2016, Over Pass CF was applied to a corn crop at a rate of 2gal/acre at the V5 and VT growth stages in Nebraska and Ohio. The application yielded an 8.72 and 5.8 bu/acre advantage, respectively, compared to the untreated check.


For additional information on our foliar products, check out these resources:



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©2020 The Andersons, Inc. All rights reserved. XtendiMax and VaporGrip are registered trademarks of Monsanto Company. FeXapan is a trademark of DuPont. Engenia and Liberty are registered trademarks of BASF Corporation. Flexstar is a registered trademark of Syngenta. Enlist is a trademark of The Down Chemical Company. PFR Proven is a trademark of Beck’s Hybrids.

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