Arable News

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New Roundup launch marks herbicide’s 40th year

Forty years on from its first availability in the UK, a new dry Roundup formulation has been launched this season by Monsanto

Forty years on from its first availability in the UK, a new dry Roundup formulation has been launched this season by Monsanto.New Roundup (glyphosate) formulation ‘Roundup PowerMax’ boasts the highest-ever active ingredient loading, together with a clean label, the most comprehensive range of off-label uses, significant drift reduction properties and valuable handling and packaging disposal benefits, reported Monsanto at a recent event which also celebrated the herbicide’s 40th year since the original formulation was launched in the UK.A six per cent higher active ingredient concentration than dry glyphosate Roundup Max, which it replaces, the new formulation delivers fully 720g/kg of active with a new three-part surfactant system that ensures optimum performance and a completely hazard-free label, adds the company.This combination ensures uptake and translocation with the greatest efficiency and least tissue damage for consistently rapid and reliable plant kill in the widest possible range of permitted uses and most difficult application conditions.“In every performance parameter we tested, Roundup PowerMax has proved to be even better than Roundup Max under challenging conditions,” explained Monsanto technical specialist, Rob Plaice (left). “In particular, it gives better control of difficult weeds under hot, dry and cold conditions, with hard water and following rainfall one hour after treatment plus excellent desiccation of oilseed rape and reliable perennial weed destruction.”Our testing also shows that, like Roundup Max, annual grass weeds can be ploughed or min-tilled just six hours after treatment with the new formulation without significant loss of efficacy. Approval for pre-emergence, post-planting application and proven compatibility with the broadest range of agrochemicals further means the greatest flexibility of autumn and spring use.”Add to this significantly less risk of drift through flat fan nozzles than standard generic formulations – especially where additional adjuvants are used – and Roundup PowerMax delivers the same all-round combination of efficacy, usability and environmental safety support as our most advanced liquid formulation.”Flexibility
The new Roundup is well-suited to use around the farm on areas not intended to bear vegetation – including hard surfaces. A notably wide range of Extensions of Authorisations for Minor Use (EAMUs) in farm forestry, game cover, energy and industrial crops, vegetable and fruit production, also means the greatest whole farm flexibility, says Monsanto.As a highly concentrated, dry product with excellent mixing characteristics, it offers a range of extra benefits particularly valuable in modern, high pressure farming systems too. A 10kg bag replaces 20 litres of traditional 360 glyphosate, for instance, giving far less weight of product and fewer packs to handle, transport and store. Each pack only represents 0.06kg of plastic waste compared with the 1.1kg of a typical 20 litre can. There is no need to triple rinse and all packaging can be disposed of as non-hazardous waste.”Roundup PowerMax is the next big step forward in dry glyphosate technology,” continued Rob. “Its superior efficacy, reliability, usability and in-the-pack stewardship is just what growers need with environmental and workload pressures making it more essential than ever to get things right first time.”Evolving herbicide
Forty years on from its first availability in the UK, Roundup has evolved from a targeted solution to the country’s most pressing arable weed problem into a multi-purpose farm management tool.An essential component in most of today’s oilseed rape and cereals harvesting regimes as well as annual and perennial weed control and grassland renewal – not to mention general farm tidying, non-cropped land management and bracken and other problem weed control – it is virtually impossible to find a non-organic farm that doesn’t value glyphosate, says Monsanto.Some 80 per cent of British growers consider it their single most valuable agrochemical, says the company, yet the Roundups of today are very different from both Monsanto’s original 360 formulation and the 200 or so generic glyphosates currently available for UK professional use, it was revealed at a specialist briefing to celebrate the 40th birthday of the world’s most widely used agrochemical.“Over the past five decades, farming pressures have grown immensely,” explained Monsanto R&D and stewardship manager, Manda Sansom (left). “Larger units with fewer staff and machines, more winter cropping, growing herbicide resistance, increasingly variable seasons, greater regulation and tighter margins all add-up to far less room for error.Reliable performance
“Our extensive research programme has ensured Roundup has developed to keep pace with these pressures, with more concentrated, more active and more flexible liquid and dry formulations delivering increasingly better and more reliable performance and value for money.”We’ve increased loadings progressively from 360g/litre to 720g/kg. At the same time we’ve moved from isopropylamine (IPA) to sodium and now ammonium and potassium salts while replacing tallow amine (ETA) surfactants with powerful patented adjuvant complexes.”As a result, compared with our original 360 and old fashioned generic formulations, modern Roundups deliver significantly more killing power to the roots. They are markedly more reliable under challenging conditions and with tough weeds. They require less than half the weight of product per hectare.”They’re fully approved for use in oilseed rape and cereal management as well as in both pre-planting and pre-emergence weed control. They’re also rainfast in as little as one hour, and they allow cultivation in just six hours as against five days.”At the same time, the Roundups of today are less affected by hard water and more effective over a wider range of weather conditions and applications,” reported Manda. “They’re also proven to have broad tank-mixing compatibilities while presenting reduced operator or environmental risks,” she added.While glyphosate is the molecule that actually disrupts amino acid synthesis in the cell, Manda pointed out that it cannot get into the plant – let alone the cells where it acts – on its own. The formulation determines the concentration of the active ingredient that can be carried in the spray solution, how much of it enters the plant and how effectively it is translocated to the root growing points for the most complete and reliable kill. So both the glyphosate salts and adjuvant systems used are as important to performance as the active ingredient.Equally important in her extensive experience with the herbicide is its manufacturing quality. Especially so since recent European laboratory analysis of a random sample of 59 glyphosates on the market have shown 50 per cent to contain less active than specified and 90 per cent of ETA products to have less surfactant than needed for good activity.”It’s not surprising then that glyphosates can vary widely in their performance,” she stressed. “Overall, our trials typically show modern Roundup performance advantages of 20-25 per cent over older and less well-developed formulations under hot/dry and cool/dry conditions, in hard water and with rainfall less than two hours after application.”Over the years we’ve built a wide a range of valuable operational and environmental advantages into Roundup too. As well as those stemming from higher glyphosate concentrations, faster uptake and better rainfastness, these additional stewardship benefits include far more flexible and cleaner labels, many off-label uses, easier-to-handle packaging and significantly reduced drift.”


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