23 November 2001

Cheap additive is best

AN old-fashioned additive nobody wants to market because it is too cheap to make a reasonable margin on can significantly bolster the activity of Monsantos brome herbicide Monitor (sulfosulfuron) on wild oats, according to African research.

Allopurinol plus mollybdenum in monolaurate significantly boosts Monitors activity on wild oats, including herbicide resistant strains, said Andrew Cairns, of Natal University, Pietermaritzburg.

"You can buy it, it is made in China, it is very cheap, it is very environmentally friendly and it is non-toxic, but it is an old product and too cheap to interest the trade."

The additive is a wetting agent with physiological effects and does not interact adversely with Monitor. "There is a good opportunity to include it in the sulfosulfuron formulation," said Prof Cairns. &#42