Agripedia

Are there any alternatives to Glycophosphate to kill the weeds

Nowadays Glycophosate is one of the most talked about herbicide which has been banned for the reasons varying. This is the cause of problem for farmers as weeds now need to be killed using some other source of chemical.

It is one of the widely used postemergence herbicide due to the following reasons:

  1. Effective as it is systemic herbicide as it moves from the treated part to other parts as well including the roots. The reason for its popularity is that it can kill annual and perennial weeds both.

  2. In comparison to other herbicide it is less expensive

  3. Least toxicity and environmentally benign nature.

  4. It is a non selective herbicide as it can kill a group of weeds or grasses and broadleaves.

  5. Nonresidual nature. It does not leave any residue as it bounds with the clay particles and renders it inactive therefore no chance of spreading to other regions.

Inspite of the above facts, the glycophosate is now in question and banned due to toxicity and environmental safety reasons. And, though the US Environmental Protection Agency continues to maintain that glyphosate does not pose a threat to human health or the environment when used according to directions, many agencies and individuals would prefer an alternative. The question many are asking is: “what can I use instead of glyphosate?” The answer to this question will depend upon the weeds you are trying to control. Seedling annual broad leaf weeds can be easily controlled using other herbicides and herbicidically natural products. Or even with a hoe or other tools. Inspite of the following reasons the cost of production will always be higher than glycophosate.

Controlling seedling annual broadleaf weeds without glycophosate

There are many options available to control annual broadleaf weeds. The best alternative is to prevent the weeds from emerging by using mulches and sanitation practices that prevent the introduction and spread of weed seeds. Preemergence  herbicides may be used to control annual grasses and small seeded broad leaf weeds. Manual control is also one of the way out  for postemergence of herbicides.

Manual removal

The easiest way to the removal of weeds is manual weeding which is best accomplished with frequent weeding about every 2 weeks. Hand weeding is effective with frequent weeding but can also control perennial weeds before they become well established.

Flame, steam or hot foam weeding

Burning the weeds can be the alternative to the chemicals which can lead to disposition of weeds by heating the water  present in the plant instead of burning it directly. Plants are exposed to high flame which leads to the dehydration of water content and leading to its depletion. The leaf tissues will collapse very rapidly after treatment. Larger weeds will require repeated treatments. Flame weeding will provide only foliar damage to grasses, perennial sedges and perennial broadleaf weeds. These types of weeds re-grow rapidly following treatment.

If the material is flammable the steam or hot foam weeding is preferred over others. The certain devices available in the market use steam with foam to dispose the plant (e.g. WeedTechnica™) or hot water + foaming agent (e.g. Foam Stream, WeedTechnica™)

Post emergence treatments

There are many other herbicides that can be used if the weed reappears. These include Diquat (Reward™), pelargonic acid (Scythe™), glufosinate (Finale™ and others), and many “natural products” such as vinegar and botanical oils. All of these products have contact-type activity. That means they do not translocate to the roots of treated plants. If applied at the labeled dose and with thorough spray coverage, each of these herbicides will control seedling annual broadleaf weeds.

None of these products have residual activity (i.e.; no root uptake and no preemergence weed control) in soils.

Controlling perennial weeds without Glycophosate

The use of certain chemical depends on the type of weed whether it is grass, broad leaf weed or sledges. Manual weeding is always the part of any weed management  plan.

Sedges are generally not well controlled by the contact type herbicide . The three herbicides most commonly used for this purpose are bentazon ((Basagran TO™), halosulfuron (Sedgehammer™), and sulfentrazone (Dismiss™). Each of these treatment will damage the plants if treatment contact the foliage. Therefore they should be avoided for contact with plants. Bentazon is a postemergence herbicide that controls yellow nutsedge, most annual sedges, and some seedling broadleaf weeds, but does not control purple nutsedge. Multiple applications at 10 to 14 day intervals are necessary to achieve acceptable control. Halosulfron controls both yellow and purple nutsedge, and a few seedling broadleaf weeds. Reapply when regrowth is observed, typically 4 to 6 weeks after the initial application. Sulfentrazone is more effective on yellow nutsedge but will suppress purple nutsedge, morning glory seedlings and some other broadleaf weeds. Re-apply when re-growth is observed. Follow the hyperlinks for more detailed information about each of these herbicides.

Perennial weeds can be removed using ‘hovels’ and ‘weed wrenches’ which are the tools for the removal and our farmers are fairly efficient in their use by uprooting the plant from root and throwing away.

Repeated cultivation is also one of the ways to avoid weeds to survive. Tap-rooted perennial weeds, such as dandelion or curly dock, do not survive repeated cultivation. Some rhizomatous weeds with large, shallow rhizomes (such as Japanese knotweed or goldenrod) may also be controlled with repeated cultivation.

The auxin herbicides like Clopyralid (Lontrel) is a synthetic auxin herbicide particularly effective for the control of legume and aster weeds, such as vetch, kudzu, thistles and horseweed. It is labeled for directed applications around many woody landscape plants.It should be use cautiously as being hazardous.

 

Herbicide

Trade name(s)

Signal word

Required Applicator PPE*

OMRI certified

glyphosate

Roundup Pro and many more

Caution

Long sleeved shirt, long pants

Shoes and socks

No

glufosinate†

Finale

Warning

Long sleeved shirt, long pants

Shoes and socks

Chemical resistant gloves

Eye protection

No

pelargonic acid

Scythe

Warning

Coveralls

Chemical resistant footwear

Chemical resistant gloves

Eye protection

No

ammonium nonanoate (=pelargonic acid)

Axxe

Warning

Coveralls

Chemical resistant footwear

Chemical resistant gloves

Eye protection

Yes, with restrictions

ammonium soaps of fatty acids

FinalSan

Warning

Coveralls

Chemical resistant footwear

Chemical resistant gloves

Eye protection

Yes

caprylic and capric acid

Suppress

Warning

Coveralls

Chemical resistant footwear

Chemical resistant gloves

Yes

vinegar / acetic acid

WeedPharm, many others

Danger

Long sleeved shirt, long pants

Waterproof gloves and footwear

Eye protection

Yes, check specific labels

d-limonene

AvengerAG

Caution

Long sleeved shirt, long pants

Shoes and socks

Chemical resistant gloves

Eye protection

Yes

plant oils (clove, cinnamon, citric, others

many

Danger

Recommended: long sleeved shirt, long pants

Waterproof shoes

Chemical resistant gloves

Eye protection

Yes, check specific labels

Selective Broadleaf Weed Control and Sedge Control

triclopyr

Southern Ag Brush Killer, and others

Caution

long sleved shirt, long pants

Shoes and socks

chemical resistant gloves

No

clopyralid†

Lontrel & others

Caution

Long sleeved shirt, long pants

Shoes and socks

Chemical resistant gloves

Eye protection

No

bentazon

Basagran TO

Caution

Long sleeved shirt, long pants

Shoes and socks

Chemical resistant gloves

No

halosulfuron

Sedgehammer

Caution

long sleeved shirt, long pants

Shoes and socks

No

sulfentrazone†

Dismiss

Caution

Long sleeved shirt, long pants

Shoes and socks

Waterproof gloves

No

Selective Grass Control

clethodim

Envoy, others

Caution

Long sleeved shirt, long pants

Shoes and socks

Chemical resistant gloves

Protective eyewear

No

fenoxaprop-ethyl

Acclaim Extra

Caution

Long sleeved shirt, long pants

Shoes and socks

Chemical resistant gloves

No

fluazifop-p

Fusilade II, others

Caution

Long sleeved shirt, long pants

Shoes and socks

Chemical resistant gloves

No

sethoxydim

Segment and others

Caution

Long sleeved shirt, long pants

Shoes and socks

Chemical resistant gloves

No

 



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