Turfgrass herbicides

The past few years have brought the turf and ornamental industry a great deal of upheaval. Mergers and acquisitions have changed the marketplace considerably. The Food Quality Protection Act has challenged pesticide manufacturers in unprecedented ways, causing changes we're just beginning to see. More than ever, you need a way to keep up with the chemical tools available for your job.

That's why we annually revise our Chemical Updates. They provide you with accurate, complete, up-to-date information in a unique, easy-to-use format for planning your pest-control strategies.

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Using the Updates This is the first of the Updates and covers turfgrass herbicides. It includes all the information you need for planning, taking you from the problem (weeds) to the solution (herbicides). We even show you how to contact suppliers for labels or other information. The tables on the following pages are organized in the following sections:

* Chemical name. Many applicators know chemicals by their brand names. However, the same active ingredient may be present in numerous brands. Therefore, we list them by the trade or common name of the active ingredient(s). This eliminates redundancy and reduces confusion with brand names.

* Characteristics. Is a chemical a post- or pre-emergent? Is it selective or non-selective? These are key factors to consider when selecting a chemical product.

* Ornamental labeling. Although we publish a separate Update of products with registration for use in ornamentals, many applicators will use the same pre-emergent (when possible) in both turf and ornamentals. This section shows you which products have such versatility.

* Application form. Many applicators specialize in either liquid or granular applications. However, while some products are available in both forms, most are sold in just one or the other. This is a key aspect of product selection.

* Plant tolerances. Another key factor is whether a chemical is appropriate for a particular type of turf. This section lists all the major turfgrass species and shows which chemicals are registered for use on them.

* Weeds controlled. This section comprises the bulk of the Update tables-for good reason. Products vary tremendously in the range of weeds they control, so you have to know which herbicides best suit your particular site. This section cross-references virtually all major turf weeds with chemicals that are labeled for their control in an easy-to-read format.

* Brands and suppliers. On page 71, you'll find tables that list suppliers and their brands for each active ingredient. The page after that provides you with contact information so you can obtain more information about products that interest you.

Each year, to keep you abreast of new products, we list chemicals or combinations of chemicals that are new to the turf and ornamental industry in blue type.

Rely on labels Remember that product labels are the ultimate source of information for pesticides. They give you important details about using the product, maximizing its effectiveness and minimizing risk to desirable turf and ornamentals, people and pets, and the applicator. Use these tables for preliminary planning only, and always read and follow label instructions each time you use a pesticide. The Updates are not a substitute for label information. When a label leaves you in doubt about how to use a chemical, contact the manufacturer directly. Cooperative Extension agents also are reliable sources of information.

Pest control meets the internet More turf and ornamental professionals are relying on the Internet as a tool for their business. This applies to pesticides in significant ways. Most chemical manufacturers maintain websites (which we list on page 72), and many allow you to download chemical labels. This is a tremendous resource for applicators seeking detailed information about a product.

Grounds Maintenance also now offers a valuable tool via the internet. Our website-www.grounds-mag.com-includes a searchable database of pesticides based on the information provided in these tables. This supplement to the tables you see here is a quick and easy way to view your options. You can choose a weed and see a list of chemicals registered for its control, or you can choose a chemical to see a list of weeds for which it is registered. The combination of Update tables and searchable on-line information makes the 2000 Updates a better resource than ever for your pest-control planning.

Be sure to look for the other Updates as they appear throughout the year. In the following months you'll find tables that cover turf insecticides and fungicides, pesticides for use on ornamentals, fertilizer/pesticide combination products, non-selective herbicides, plant growth regulators and vertebrate pest controls.

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