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Advantages to stocking and applying low-use-rate herbicides

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When floor space is tight for storing crop protection products headed into the spring, many ag retailers appreciate low-use-rate products that take less space to stock an entire season’s sales volume. And warehouse space is at a premium for some ag retailers this spring.

“Obviously a product that takes up 90 to 95 percent less space because of its lower per acre use rate than high-volume products, allows us to utilize space efficiently. We have floor space to lay in a full season’s worth of product rather than a partial season’s supply and try to restock in season,” said Tracy Waddington, sales agronomist, Effingham Equity, Pana, Ill.

“You can easily see the difference between glyphosate with a 32 ounces per acre rate and Capreno’s three ounces per acre rate. One mini-bulk of Capreno takes the place of 10 Roundup mini-bulks required to treat the same number of acres,” Waddington said.

Effingham Equity is stocking more mini-bulks of glyphosate to ensure having enough for filling from their bulk storage in season because getting them back for refilling can be an issue at the height of the season.

This retailer’s storage space issue doesn’t even address the efficiency of using a low-use-rate product once the spring field work season begins. “At the three ounce per acre rate, a gallon of product will treat 42 acres. A lot of custom applicators and farmers with their own sprayers put 80-acre loads of water and Capreno in their tanks. Mixing a spray solution in the field is easy to do using a quality measuring cup,” noted Jim Heath, field sales representative for Bayer CropScience serving western Kentucky.

If the sprayer tank will hold a little more water, then it is really simple to dump two gallons into the sprayer and start the application. Different than Waddington’s operation, most of Heath’s retailers stock one-gallon jugs of Capreno. But disposal of jugs is no real problem because there are so many fewer of them than most other products at the end of the season.

“From the applicator standpoint, I’ve got several retailers that run two, three or four spray rigs. Companies have told me that they have increased their efficiency using ultra-low-rate products, Heath said. “They report an improvement in production or efficiency that calculates out to a 10 percent to 15 percent increase, which means they are getting over that many more acres per day. Efficiency that results in getting over more acres is added revenue for a retailer.”

Typically, corn has been a crop with some of the highest volume herbicides applied for weed control. It hasn’t been unusual to have three quarts per acre of a herbicide used, and that hasn’t really gone lower in recent years as two or three herbicides have been tank mixed to provide multiple modes of action to kills weeds, including glyphosate-resistant weeds.

Waddington noted that using Capreno, with its two active ingredients, and adding up to 1 ½ pints of atrazine still results in an extremely low-use-rate herbicide mix. Plus, it provides three active ingredients to control most any weeds, including glyphosate-resistant ones. He said waterhemp is one of the biggest problems in his area of Illinois, but foxtail, fall panicum, cocklebur and other pigweed varieties are concerns, too.

Waddington said, “If a product didn’t work well and the use rate was low, the lower rate wouldn’t mean anything, but Capreno works.”

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