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Does that new, fast acting, ready-to-use, garden herbicide really work?

Last year, a new knockdown, ready-to-use (RTU) product entered the home garden market with much fanfare and the promise to cause visual results within an hour.   Having tested many home garden products that have made wild claims we were sceptical – but we were wrong!

At Eureka!, we have considerable knowledge and excellent facilities to test product for use in home gardens.  I interviewed Liam Flynn, a Project Manager at Eureka!, about the studies that Eureka! has conducted on this new product and how it stacked up against its own claims. 

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Glyphosate and the Effect of Hard Water

Last year I interviewed one of our formulation chemists for an article about the effect that hard water has on agchems.  This article generated a lot of interest and we received a lot of questions, mostly about hard water and its effect on glyphosate efficacy.  There is still a lot of confusion around the effect hard water has on glyphosate and how the addition of ammonium sulphate works.

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Trifluralin – How it really works Part 2

In Part 1 of this series we explained how:

  • trifluralin stops weed growth by inhibiting the division of cells at the root tip,
  • trifluralin vapour moves very short distances through soil and so vapour movement won’t compensate for poor application,
  • trifluralin is primarily absorbed into grasses through the roots rather than the coleoptile and so is far more potent when applied to the weed’s root zone,
  • volatilisation can cause the loss of more than 60% of applied trifluralin and,
  • studies have shown that trifluralin loses due to UV degradation have been low, generally less than 5% even under high UV conditions.

In this article we will review how soil type and soil pH affects the efficacy of trifluralin.  

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Trifluralin – How it really works Part 1

Trifluralin is one of the most widely used herbicides in Australia.  Despite it being in use since the 1970s, it is surprising how many myths exist around how it works.  Eureka! has conducted dozens of experiments with trifluralin.  Over the next couple of newsletters I will share some of our findings with you.  In this article I will cover how trifluralin kills weeds, its movement through the soil as a gas, where it is absorbed into the plant and the proportion that is lost to volatilisation and UV degradation.  Please note that the scientific methods used in the experiments described here are too lengthy for this article.  If you want more information on them please contact me.

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The Science of Rainfall Simulation

Australia is the driest continent in the world.  Much of its agricultural land is prone to unpredictable rainfall which has an annoying tendency to fall as soon as the spray rig enters the paddock!  Even then it is often not a good soak but an intermittent drizzle, which leaves us confused about whether or not a product sprayed will be washed off wasting time and money.

Most foliar applied, agricultural chemical products are designed to either remain on the surface of leaves or to penetrate into  them; this does not happen instantaneously.  For example, glyphosate takes many hours before the active is safely inside the plant and protected from the elements. While chemicals remain on a leaf surface they are vulnerable to being washed off by rain.

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Ignore Patent Opportunities at Your Own Peril

A patent can greatly add to the value of both a product and the business. It frustrates competitors. It gives the patent owner a stronger position when negotiating with customers and it is within the financial reach of almost every company.

Whilst our multinational clients are patent specialists our smaller and medium sized companies grossly underuse them. This is usually due to a lack of knowledge about what patents offer and how to apply for them or because they mistakenly assume that patents are prohibitively expensive.  Eureka! AgResearch has eight granted/pending patents. Our staff are inventors on another 12 owned by clients but this number should be over 50. About 80% of patentable ideas were never protected!

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