With fall right around the corner, roadsides and rights of way across the country are seeing weeds pop up like wildfire. In addition to crowding out natural vegetation, they can be an eyesore, and potentially dangerous if they obstruct vision on the roadways. The answer to the problem is usually herbicides, but many brands damage the desired vegetation as much as the undesired breeds.
DuPont has released a new broadleaf weed killer, Perspective, that it hopes will resolve this dilemma. It works as a dual-action product, simultaneously eliminating weeds in the area and inhibiting their redevelopment in the future.
The preventive aspect is thanks to aminocyclopyrachlor, a new compound engineered by DuPont. It combines with a more traditional sulfonylurea compound to control a wide variety of weeds in the given area.
Because of its dual nature, it can be applied in a variety of situations. “In the east, it would be used more for line-of-sight issues and general roadside maintenance,” said Darin Sloan, land management portfolio manager. “Out west, it’d be more suited for invasive and noxious weed control.”
In either case, the product offers broad-spectrum protection against a wide variety of weeds. This means that it does not have to be used as frequently as other herbicides. “It’s designed to be used in the fall to control weeds through the winter and spring,” said Sloan. “The idea is to delay or eliminate mowing periods.”
The new compound began field and lab trials in 2004, but development really hit its stride the next two years. In 2005 and 2006, DuPont conducted roughly 30 tests per year, checking the efficacy against especially tough weeds like Russian thistle, kochia and leafy spurge, among others. Perspective was able to eliminate all of these particularly difficult breeds.
“That’s one of the things we’re very excited about,” Sloan said. “At very low use rates, we’re able to provide control of these weeds that have escaped through traditional programs in the past.”
Once those proved effective, the company moved on to the rest of the spectrum, averaging 230 trials per year from 2007 to 2011. DuPont achieved full federal registration in February 2011.