Top Crop Manager

Features Agronomy Identity Preserved
Innovation leads to grower benefits

Research and innovation are strongly rooted in agriculture, and have affected almost everything a grower uses on a day-to-day basis, whether in the field, in the shop or in the home.


December 22, 2008
By Top Crop Manager

Topics

Water-based herbicide formulation gives new life to weed control.

Research and innovation are strongly rooted in agriculture, and have
affected almost everything a grower uses on a day-to-day basis, whether
in the field, in the shop or in the home. In the field, growers are
demanding and selecting the most innovative advancements in seed
genetics and crop protection products to generate the greatest yields
from their crop and maximize their return on investment. Innovation, is
where the old saying, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it,” no longer
applies. Now, it is, “If it isn’t broke, make it better.”

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Reduced equipment staining (tube on bottom) is one of the benefits growers and applicators will notice with Prowl H2O.

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This is where many crop protection companies, including BASF Canada,
are looking to infuse proven technology with new, innovative features
to increase direct grower benefits.

What is old is new again
Polymer technology is giving one of the corn industry’s oldest
herbicides an innovative makeover. Pendimthalin, marketed by BASF as
Prowl, has been a trusted corn and soybean herbicide for Canadian
growers for more than 15 years, controlling a wide spectrum of grasses
and key broadleaf weeds. However, a new, water-based formulation of
Prowl will give this ‘old friend’ a 21st-century makeover.

Polymer technology was developed in the company’s plastics division to
enhance the performance of certain paints and coatings. This was just
the solution researchers in the BASF crop protection division were
seeking to address some handling issues associated with Prowl. The
result was Prowl H2O. The patented polymer design of this particular
formulation locks the pendimethalin in a polymer shell. This allows the
product to be suspended in water, even though it normally requires a
petroleum-based solvent. By encapsulating the pendimethalin in a
water-based polymer microcapsule, a number of product improvements were
realized, including better handling characteristics and greater
application flexibility in all tillage and environmental conditions.
The new formulation also offers targeted release and superior surface
stability and boasts an environmental benefit, as the water-based
formulation means lower volume of product per acre and the elimination
of organic solvents.

New formulation with enhanced characteristics
Thanks to the new design, Prowl H20 removes 98 percent of the handling
issues associated with its older version. The most obvious benefits are
the reduced staining and odour. As custom applicator Bryan Weldrick of
Oxford Agro Pro Ltd., in Hickson, Ontario, experienced firsthand, “I
couldn’t believe it. I expected it to leave a bit of a residue on the
pails that we used to measure, but there was nothing. Water washed
everything away.” 

Prowl H20 offers corn growers early-season control of grass and
selected broadleaf weeds, including difficult-to-control weeds such as
barnyard grass, crabgrass, fall panicum and lamb’s-quarters. “The
patented formulation maximizes herbicide availability for residual weed
control through enhanced surface stability and reduced binding,”
explains Dr. Trevor Kraus, Eastern biology and technical development
supervisor with BASF Canada. “As a result, Prowl H20 is ideally suited
for growers looking for long-lasting, dependable, superior
broad-spectrum weed control.”With the transition to Prowl H20, growers
will not lose the residual control they have come to trust from Prowl,
including weed control during a long period, with just one-pass.

This is exactly what Lloyd West of Bradford, Ontario, experienced.
“When you’re putting Prowl H2O on early, there isn’t any weed pressure
at the time when you’re applying it, so what it actually does is allow
for weed control as the weeds start to germinate. The residual activity
actually gives you weed control over a period of time.”

Applied in combination with atrazine, Roundup, Marksman, Banvel II or
Accent, Prowl H20 offers growers a number of tank-mix options across
the pre- and post-emergent stage of corn. “As an organization, our goal
is to deliver superior products that meet, if not exceed, growers’
expectations, and with Prowl H20 we’ve done just that,” summarizes
Kraus.  “Through conversations with growers, applicators and retailers,
we determined what needed to be improved and, with input from our
colleagues in the plastics division, we produced a new, one-of-a-kind
herbicide designed with the grower in mind.”