SLOW-RELEASE HERBICIDES: AN UPDATE
Elton M. Smith
The need for effective chemical weed control in container-grown nursery stock is obvious. Equally, or perhaps more important, is the need for pesticides that are as safe as possible to society with minimum chance to contaminate the air, soil, or ground water.
Weed competition has been estimated to cause an annual loss of over 3.5 billion dollars in yield and quantity of crops in the U.S. alone (1). In nursery research studies it has been reported that 624 man-hours are required to remove weeds from an acre of one gal. (3.78 liter) containers (approximately 30,000/A) (4). At a labor rate of 5.00/hr the cost to weed an acre could exceed $3,000.
Hebicides, indeed, can reduce these costs significantly. The herbicides, however, must be effective, non-phytotoxic, and environmentally safe.
To assist in this effort slow-release herbicides have been the focus of research at Ohio State University. Original research by Varma and Smith in Georgia (9) and subsequently Ohio (1,3,5,6,7,8) have
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