Fertilizer/pesticide combinations

As an extension of our Turfgrass Chemical Updates, Grounds Maintenance now 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. Therefore, to provide a reference for those who rely on combination products, we've compiled a listing of pesticide/fertilizer combinations.

Unlike our previous updates, these tables do not cross reference chemicals with pests controlled or other information. These lists provide an overview of available products, including fertilizer analysis, percent active ingredient and available brands. "Various" under fertilizer analysis means the supplier formulates the active ingredient with numerous fertilizer analyses, or custom blends the combination.

Combination products let you fertilize and control pests with a single application. This is a great labor saver, but it requires you to formulate your management strategy carefully. 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.

The fertilizer component of combination products varies widely. It may include fast- or slow-release fertilizers (usually some of both) and the analyses cover the entire fertilizer spectrum. For more specific information about the fertilizer content of a product, consult with the supplier.

Pre-emergence herbicides dominate the available combination products because turf managers often apply pre-emergents at about the same time as fertilizers 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 are the well-known "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 make up a much smaller number of combination products. However, if you're looking for grub controls, you'll find no shortage of options. Broad-spectrum insecticides also are available.

Finally, 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 application 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.

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