The first new broadleaved weed active for over a decade is hoped to be launched this spring to help growers cope with the build-up of herbicide-resistant weeds.
The contact-acting product from Dow AgroSciences is awaiting registration approval, but is likely to be available this season on virtually all spring and winter cereals.
The launch from the maker of herbicides such as Kerb and Unite comes at a time of tighter regulations and a dwindling number of new pesticides coming to the market.
The new active is a synthetic auxin like those in other Dow products such as Dow Shield and Starane, but has a different mode of action so will be useful for problem weeds.
The brand name has not been announced for the active halauxifen-methyl, although Dow refer to it under the broad name of arylex active, and is likely to be the foundation of a new range of broadleaved weedkillers.
Alex Nichols, Dow’s cereal herbicide marketing manager, says it will be particularly useful against competitive weeds such as poppies, cleavers and cranesbill that survive autumn residual herbicide programmes.
“This new product will give growers the chance to prevent weed resistance building up as it has an alternative mode of action,” he tells Farmers Weekly.
The new active is set to be mixed with an existing Dow product in the new spring herbicide, while an autumn-applied product is hoped to be launched later this year.
Dr Nichols sees three key benefits for the new product. Firstly, it has a wide spectrum of control included poppies, cleavers, fat hen, deadnettle and cranesbill; secondly, it works in a wide range of conditions from cold to warm weather; and thirdly there are no restrictions for following crops.
In addition, the new product is compatible with a wide range of other herbicides, fungicides and plant growth regulators, and also offers a high level of crop safety compared to other products which can cause plant stress.