A Look at Helena’s Acid-Based Herbicides
Helena’s acid-based products are unique herbicides that are based on the “free” acid form of the active ingredients 2,4-D, dicamba and triclopyr formulated with other components. You may be familiar with Hardball®, Vision® and Trycera®, which contain single acid products. On Deck®, Brush-Rhap® and Trump Card® are pre-mix acid products that contain Helena’s free acid in addition to other active ingredients that enhance weed control.
Helena’s acid-based products utilize patent protected, solvent-free formulations that provide application and performance advantages over traditional products that are based on amines and esters. One major benefit of these products is the low volatility potential compared to ester formulations. This low volatility is comparable to that of amine formulations. However, unlike amine-based formulations, Helena’s acid-based products are capable of providing the same, or higher, level of performance as ester formulations.
- The acid-based products contain 2-4 pounds of acid equivalent per gallon, depending on the product. For example, Hardball contains two pounds per gallon of 2,4-D in the free acid form versus 3 pounds per gallon of triclopyr in Trycera, the free acid form. These products are also co-formulated with a nonionic surfactant type spray adjuvant for improved coverage, wetting and deposition.
- Helena’s acid-based products do not contain petroleum solvents. They are miscible with water and may produce a micro-emulsion rather than a solution (e.g. amines) or conventional emulsion (e.g. esters).
- They have a very low odor due to the lack of petroleum solvents and low volatility.
- They have an indefinite shelf life and are not subject to crystallization due to freezing temperatures or evaporation.
- Spray mixtures and deposits are not subject to crystallization due to evaporation. This property improves both active ingredient absorption and deposition.
- These products are not corrosive to spray application equipment.
APPLICATION & PERFORMANCE ASPECTS
- Best results for any acid-based product are obtained when applications are made to young and succulent weeds that are actively growing. For perennial weeds and in dry, arid regions, the higher recommended use rates may be required for adequate control. In some sections of the country, some weeds have developed varying degrees of tolerance to auxin-based herbicides. Consult your local agricultural authorities for information regarding weeds that may be resistant in your area.
- Environmental conditions may impact the speed and degree of performance for certain herbicides, particularly 2,4-D. Generally, temperatures less than 500 F may increase the time period required to see a visual impact of the herbicide. In most cases, this does not impact the level of control, just the time that is required.
APPLICATION & PERFORMANCE ASPECTS (continued)
- A rain-free period between 3-4 hours is usually needed for maximum performance.
- The acid-based products are compatible with all glyphosate products, as well as most liquid fertilizers.
- Helena’s acid-based products are co-formulated with a nonionic surfactant. This component may replace or supplement the need for surfactant type spray adjuvants.
- The nonionic surfactant component of these products are capable of generating a significant amount of foam under heavy agitation. The inclusion of a foam preventative (such as Foambuster™) is recommended if foam is an issue.
ENVIRONMENTAL & WORKER SAFETY ASPECTS
Even though acid-based herbicide products generally have a very low potential for volatility, the application guidelines below must be followed in order to prevent damage to desirable vegetation and/or crop.
- Do not apply when weather conditions favor drift from the target area. Spray droplet drift should not be confused with volatility (vapor drift) and must be prevented. The following steps are suggested as a means of reducing spray droplet drift:
- Avoid applications in the vicinity of susceptible plants or when winds are blowing towards them. Avoid applications when temperature inversions are expected.
- Keep applications as near the target as possible.
- Increase spray application volumes.
- Use nozzles capable of producing coarse spray droplets.
- Make applications when wind velocity is more favorable for on target deposition.
- Use drift retardants capable of increasing spray droplet size.
- Follow all state and local regulations, including all pesticide labels, for instructions on reducing drift.
- State and local guidelines/restrictions that apply to amine products are appropriate for Helena’s acid herbicide product Hardball. However, restrictions and guidelines for ester products do not apply to Hardball.
- Spray equipment used in applying this product must be thoroughly cleaned before using for any other purpose. Equipment used for acid-based herbicide applications should follow the same clean-out guidelines that apply for amine products.
- As with most amine based auxin herbicide products, Hardball carries a DANGER signal word. This is due to the eye irritation potential of the formulations used to make these products. It is not reflective of toxicity concerns.
- Hardball and Trycera are safe for use in or around aquatic environments when used at label recommended rates.
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