What is in this article?:
- Higher product development costs are causing chemical companies to reinvent older herbicides introduced up to 50 years ago.
- Chemical companies are developing new uses for older herbicides, plus generating new product formulations and application techniques.
- Formulation changes are largely in response to environmental safety concerns.
Environmental safety concerns
In addition to new uses for older herbicides, changes in product formulations are occurring largely in response to environmental safety concerns. Many new formulations have shifted from previous powder and emulsifiable concentrate (EC) forms to water based and other more environmentally-safe formulations.
The powder herbicide Dacthal W 75 was difficult to work with since powders are difficult to measure and mix. Tickes says the liquid product Dacthal Flowable is easier and safer to use.
“Many emulsifiable concentrates (EC) and powders are disappearing and we’re getting more environmental and user-friendly formulations,” Tickes said. “Water-based formulations are definitely an improvement over powder-based formulations.”
GoalTender (oxyfluorfen) is another case where an EC was replaced with a water-based formulation. In cole crops and onions, the new formulation is safer to use than Goal 2XL.
New techniques in applying herbicides also are generating positive results. The product Kerb traditionally has been applied by ground and incorporated by furrow irrigation. Tickes says Kerb is more effective when applied through sprinklers. Sprinklers were not originally designed to apply pesticides.
“There is some spotty weed control and plant damage but overall sprinklers are an effective way to apply many herbicides,” Tickes explained.
Goal 2XL gets high marks when applied by sprinkler on onions.
“We found increased crop safety and improved weed control when applying Goal 2XL by sprinkler,” Tickes said. “It defies conventional wisdom but it works.”
Corporate sponsors of the Fall Desert Crops Workshop included: Platinum Level – BASF, Bayer CropScience, and Syngenta; Gold Level – Dow AgroSciences and Valent U.S.A.; Silver Level - FMC Corporation; and Bronze Sponsor – Westbridge Agricultural Products.