Nearly40 years after its UK introduction, glyphosate stands out as the countryssingle most valued agrochemical following a national study, according toMonsanto. In this time it has grown froma specialist autumn couch control product to take on a wide range of weed andcrop management roles throughout the year. Whats more, its popularity in allthese roles continues to increase.
Designedto establish how the agrochemical is currently being employed on UK farms, thestudy involved users from across the country responsible for over 50,000 ha ofarable cropping. Their responses underline the central role glyphosate is nowplaying in annual as well as perennial weed control, as well as its importancein cereal harvest management and oilseed rape desiccation
Underthese circumstances, it comes as no surprise that 90% of growers andagronomists say they dont know what theyd do without glyphosate, observesstudy co-ordinator, Susan Mintern of Monsanto Crop Protection.
Northat usage in every role beyond traditional autumn pre-planting weed controlhas grown noticeably since a parallel study we conducted in 2009.
However, the majority of users recognise considerable performancedifferences between modern formulations of glyphosate, underlining that allglyphosates are not the same, she reports. Particularly so under challengingconditions, without extra adjuvants, under hard water conditions and in termsof rainfastness.
This really isnt surprising since more than 180 glyphosate productsare currently approved for professional use in the UK. Based on an array ofdifferent salts, loadings and adjuvant mixtures and contents, they havedeveloped considerably over the years.
From our original Roundup 360, for instance, weve progressivelyintroduced improved formulations based on sodium, ammonium and most recentlypotassium salts. And weve used a range of specialist adjuvants to produce anew generation of Roundup products with 480g/litre, 540 g/litre and 680 g/kgloadings, each with different label usage rates and features.
Most importantly, these developments have enabled us to progressivelyincrease glyphosate loadings and improve the speed and effectiveness with whichthe active gets into the plant and down to the roots. At the same time, wevebeen able to reduce the amount of chemical that needs to be transported andemployed, and offer clean labels for improved environmental and operatorsafety.
With most growers relying on glyphosate more widely than ever, itsvital they fully appreciate the major formulation and label differences betweentodays glyphosates to ensure the greatest possible value and stewardship inthe chemicals use, she concludes.