CHEMICAL UPDATE: FERTILIZER/PESTICIDE COMBINATIONS

As an extension of our Turfgrass Chemical Updates, Grounds Maintenance publishes additional Chemical Updates throughout the year. Extensive information about chemical characteristics and pests controlled is found in the first three Updates, published in January, February and March. However, these Updates cover only straight chemical products. To provide a reference for those of you who rely on combination products, we've compiled a listing of pesticide/fertilizer combinations.

These tables do not cross reference chemicals with pests controlled or other information. That information can be found in our prior Updates. These lists simply provide an overview of available products, including fertilizer analysis, percent active ingredient and available brands. Often, suppliers formulate an active ingredient with numerous fertilizer analyses, or custom blend the combination. In these cases, rather than provide a long list of analyses, we simply note “various” in the Analysis column.

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An obvious advantage of combination products is that you can fertilize and control pests with a single application. This is a great labor saver, but it requires you to carefully formulate your management strategy. Combination products require appropriate timing for both the fertilizer and the chemical.

Because the rates of the fertilizer and the pesticide are linked, you sacrifice some flexibility. For example, you could not put the product down a little heavier for some extra fertility, because doing so would probably violate the label instructions. However, when timing and rates mesh properly, there's no way to beat the economy of one granular application to make two treatments.

Pre-emergence herbicides dominate the available combination products. This makes sense, because turf managers typically apply pre-emergents at about the same time as fertilizers (in spring, for example) and in a similar manner (by spreader). That's why most major pre-emergents are available in combination with fertilizers.

Post-emergence herbicides also are available with fertilizers. These, of course, are the popular “weed-and-feed” products that have been around for many years. Though perhaps more popular in the retail market, these products also are available to commercial operators.

Insecticides comprise a much smaller number of combination products. However, if you're looking for grub controls, you'll find no shortage of options. Though relatively few in number, several valuable fungicides are available in combination with fertilizer.

When you use combination products, don't forget that you are working with pesticides, and you must follow all label instructions. This listing is not a recommendation or substitute for label instructions. If you would like more information about a product, you can contact the supplier via the information in the box below. They will provide you with additional information, including labels, and help you locate a distributor near you.

WHAT ABOUT LIQUIDS?

Many turf managers use liquid combinations of fertilizers and pesticides. However, all of the products listed here are granular formulations. Why? Most manufacturers do not make pre-mixed liquid combinations because it's relatively simple for applicators to create such tank mixes on their own. This is a common practice of lawn-care operators, for example. Granular mixes, by contrast, are best left to chemical manufacturers, who can homogenize their products so that they spread uniformly. (Mixing two separate granular products on your own could cause non-uniform coverage because granules of various sizes and weights may travel different distances when thrown from a spreader.)

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© 2014 Penton Media Inc.

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