New herbicide active ingredients aren't introduced to the turf and ornamental market very often. So when they are, it's an important event. An introduction expected this year from PBI/Gordon is an active ingredient called carfentrazone. Carfentrazone was introduced to the agricultural market a few years ago for use on cereal grains and soybeans, but this is its first registration in T&O.

Carfentrazone is a selective broadleaf herbicide that PBI/Gordon will be formulating in combination with three other herbicides in a four-way combination product. Unlike many other broadleaf herbicides, it is not a phenoxy. Rather, it is in the triazolinone herbicide family.

Several characteristics make this product different from traditional broadleaf herbicides. For example, it exhibits relatively rapid activity: you may see browning of weed foliage within a day or two, and complete kill in about a week. This contrasts with most phenoxy herbicides, which cause a gradual “melting away” of weeds over a longer time.

Also, although formulated as an ester, this product reportedly exhibits low volatility. Nevertheless, it still is best suited to spring and fall applications because its activity is greatest at temperatures under 75°F.

One of the most desirable qualities of carfentrazone is its activity on hard-to-kill weeds such as ground ivy and clover. Trials conducted at the University of Rhode Island and Penn State demonstrate that carfentrazone displayed excellent — and rapid — control of these and other broadleaf weeds.

Availability will depend on when the EPA grants final approval. However, registration should occur in time for spring 2002 applications. PBI/Gordon will market its carfentrazone products in their new ProForm product line.

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