Saturday, June 23, 2018

Tallow amine withdrawal ‘reduces performance of some glyphosates’

May 31, 2018 by  
Filed under News & Business

Growers should expect reduced levels of performance from many glyphosates this summer following the withdrawal of EU approval for ethoxylated tallow amine (ETA) formulations.

Benchmark Monsanto trials confirm anecdotal evidence from growers and agronomists that glyphosate products reformulated with alkyl phosphate ester (APE) surfactants – the most popular alternative – perform noticeably less well than their predecessors.

Glasshouse trials, which were undertaken with the most advanced Roundup and both ETA and APE formulations, compared performance at the same rate of active ingredient use under a range of conditions.

A leading ETA formulation fell short of the Roundup benchmark by more than 6% in its average Italian ryegrass control 21 days after treatment. But the same trials control from an APE competitor proved to be a good 17% off the pace.

Following rainfall an hour after treatment, 21-day broadleaved weed control from the APE formulation was similarly lacking. Under particularly hard water conditions, grassweed control was barely half as good as the ETA and only just over a third the level of the Roundup.

These differences matched Monsanto’s field performance comparisons with no fewer than six different alkyl phosphate ester glyphosate formulations, according to Barrie Hunt, the company’s  Roundup technical specialist.

He added: “Our benchmark Roundup formulation reduced the photosynthetic capacity of oilseed rape seedlings more than twice as much as the APEs and noticeably faster.”

Reduced performance was important to bear in mind this summer as the official tallow amine formulation use-up date of 30 June 2018 meant only reformulated glyphosates would be in use for the vast majority of this year’s pre-harvest and stubble treatments.

Growers should be particularly alert to the likelihood of reduced performance on perennial weeds, at lower glyphosate rates, with higher water volumes and under more challenging environmental conditions, said Mr Hunt.

“No-one will see any differences with modern Roundup formulations which have long been tallow amine-free and based on the most advanced surfactant technologies,” he added.

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