Research Shows Some Applicator Hoses Can Retain Crop-Damaging Auxin Residues
Scanning electron microscopic image of two spray hoses showing wear and possible adsorption sites for auxinic herbicides. See article by Cundiff et al. for more information. Photo taken by Dan Reynolds, Mississippi State University.
Cropping systems based on the auxin-containing herbicides dicamba and 2,4-D offer new control options in the battle against glyphosate-resistant broadleaf weeds. According to research published in the journal Weed Science, though, it is important for growers using auxins to take precautions. Residues of the herbicide retained by certain types of applicator hoses can injure sensitive crops.
Depending on the amount of residue and the growth stage of the plant at the time of application, the impact on soybeans can range from cosmetic leaf injury to 80 percent yield loss.
The multiyear research project featured by the journal evaluated the amount of dicamba retained by five types of application hoses: PVC, polyethylene, polyurethane, PVC/polyurethane blends and synthetic rubber. Researchers also explored whether cleaning sprayers with water alone or with water plus ammonia made a difference in the amount of dicamba residue each type of hose retained.
The PVC/polyurethane blend and synthetic rubber hoses were found to retain the most dicamba analyte – producing the greatest soybean injury and the greatest reductions in height, dry matter and yield. The polyethylene hoses retained the least dicamba analyte. While cleaning the hoses decreased residues in all hose types, no differences were observed between adding ammonia to the cleanout solution versus using water alone.
Researchers say differences in the amount of dicamba analyte retained by various hose types may be attributable to the manufacturing process, the internal chemical composition of the hoses and how quickly that composition breaks down. Scans conducted with electron microscopy showed there were imperfections in new PVC polyurethane and synthetic rubber hoses that could deplete the inner wall. The polyethylene blend hoses were smooth and free of imperfections.
“The findings produced by the study can be especially helpful to producers who use a single sprayer to treat multiple crops and transgenic traits,” says research team member Daniel B. Reynolds, Ph.D., of Mississippi State University. “Using polyethylene hoses may help to ensure a more thorough cleanout of dicamba before treating sensitive crops.”
Access the full paper for 6 weeks
Full text of the article “Evaluation of Dicamba Persistence Among Various Agricultural Hose Types and Cleanout Procedures Using Soybean (Glycine Max Merr.) as a Bio-Indicator” is now available in Weed Science Vol. 65, Issue 2, April-June, 2017.