In 2012, you thought you killed them. But, they’ll be back. That’s right; I’m talking about ZOMBIE WEEDS. You may think zombies are just fictional monsters you see on AMC’s The Walking Dead or in the upcoming major motion picture featuring Brad Pitt, World War Z. But in reality you probably see zombies invading your turf every season, and know firsthand how difficult controlling them can be.
ZOMBIE WEEDS are perennial weeds like yellow nutsedge, green kyllinga, wild violet and ground ivy that seem to come back from the dead year after year and often times with a vengeance! Did you know that one yellow nutsedge tuber can produce 700 new tubers within six months if left untreated. Purple nutsedge is even more prolific than yellow nutsedge. Yikes!
I’d even argue that ZOMBIE WEEDS include the increasing number of weeds that are becoming resistant to certain herbicides. In the agricultural crop market, the incidence and rapid onset of resistant weeds is doubling every three years and experts estimate that it could soon double every other year due to overreliance on certain chemistries. In our world of turf, we’ve already seen the rise of resistant goosegrass and Poa annua, just to name a few. As a turf professionals, we need to continually remind ourselves to be good stewards of our industry and rotate chemistries to minimize the onset and incidence of resistant ZOMBIE WEEDS.
Luckily, there are solutions that can help turn your turf into a NO ZOMBIE ZONE: FMC herbicides featuring an optimized amount of sulfentrazone! A two-year study was conducted on both our straight sulfentrazone products like Dismiss® turf herbicide, as well as our proprietary combinations like Echelon®, Solitare®, and Dismiss® South. Blindside®, one of our newer herbicides, was not part of the study but features an optimized amount of FMC sulfentrazone and will therefore demonstrate similar results.
In this research, yellow nutsedge plants were treated with products featuring FMC sulfentrazone under field conditions and then collected at the end of the growing season, counted and replanted in untreated soil to determine how many tubers would germinate. The results were fantastic! Using straight FMC sulfentrazone (Dismiss turf herbicide) we greatly minimized the number of viable tubers by 60% and the combination products yielded a 75% reduction or more.
Only FMC herbicides featuring sulfentrazone have the power to turn your turf into a NO ZOMBIE ZONE. These products have an optimized level of sulfentrazone compared to other sulfentrazone-containing products, but require far less pounds of active ingredient per treated acre. It is important to note that the extent of your ZOMBIE WEED control is dependent upon four items:
- Application rate: FMC herbicides have different use rates for different turf types based on tolerance and duration of the growing season. Furthermore, our herbicides are already well-known for their speed of control. While the speed benefit is not rate dependent, the extent to which your turf becomes a NO ZOMBIE ZONE is rate dependent. Always read and follow label directions.
- Application timing (pre or post): When treating ZOMBIE WEEDS, keep in mind that FMC sulfentrazone is absorbed through both foliar and root uptake. Hence, if you treat your turf postemergence when ZOMBIE WEEDS are actively growing, you will get better results than when ZOMBIE WEEDS are dormant. FMC sulfentrazone does have good preemergence activity, but the FMC herbicides still need to be translocated through the roots which doesn’t occur when weeds are dormant. Proper application timing can maximize the available active ingredient just before or while ZOMBIE WEEDS are actively growing.
- Application method (broadcast vs. spot): When treating postemergence ZOMBIE WEEDS, there may be a tendency among turf professionals to only treat the spot of visible weeds. This is okay for herbicides that work through foliar contact only – it makes sense to treat only the weeds that you can visibly see. In the case of FMC sulfentrazone herbicides however, the active ingredient is absorbed through both foliar contact as well as (and perhaps more so) root uptake, so treating the area around the visible weeds will yield a benefit beyond what you can see initially.
- The sulfentrazone partner (either pre-mix or tank-mix): There is synergy between FMC sulfentrazone and other chemistries. We don’t just pre-mix our herbicide combinations for convenience, but rather we capitalize on different modes of action that can yield a 1+1=3 benefit. You will often get better results, improved turf tolerance, and save money using our pre-mix of FMC sulfentrazone herbicides versus trying to tank mix similar amounts of the same active ingredients due to the proprietary formulation technology that goes into each of our products.
If you tank mix Dismiss turf herbicide or another optimized FMC sulfentrazone-containing product with other chemistry, you can still make your turf a NO ZOMBIE ZONE provided you consider each of these points above.
If you fear that ZOMBIE WEEDS will invade your turf yet again this year, consider herbicides featuring FMC sulfentrazone and mark your turf as a NO ZOMBIE ZONE. Continued use of sulfentrazone in your herbicide program won’t just help you with controlling ZOMBIE WEEDS, it will have a significant impact on your bottom line through reduced labor costs, herbicide costs and more satisfied customers. Ready to become a ZOMBIE WEED Warrior? Contact your FMC Market Specialist today.