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Divalent Cations in Spray Water Influence 2,4-D Efficacy on Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) and Broadleaf Plantain (Plantago major)

  • Aaron J. Patton (a1), Daniel V. Weisenberger (a1) and William G. Johnson (a2)


2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) is a common ingredient in POST broadleaf herbicides labeled for use in turf, pastures, rangeland, and grain crops. The herbicide 2,4-D is a weak acid, and when dissociated can bind to cations present in hard-water spray solutions and/or fertilizer solutions. Experiments were conducted with 2,4-D dimethylamine to evaluate the effect of cation solutions on herbicide efficacy on the perennial broadleaf weeds dandelion and broadleaf plantain. The objectives of this research were to (1) determine if 2,4-D efficacy is influenced by the divalent cations, calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), manganese (Mn), and zinc (Zn) in spray solution; and (2) determine if adding the adjuvant ammonium sulfate (AMS) to the spray solution can overcome antagonism. Broadleaf plantain and dandelion control was reduced and plant size and mass increased when 2,4-D was applied in a Ca solution in comparison to deionized water. However, 2,4-D antagonism was overcome when AMS was added as an adjuvant to the spray solution. Magnesium caused 2,4-D antagonism on both weed species in one run of the experiment similar to Ca solution and AMS was successful at overcoming antagonism when added to the tank mixture. Some 2,4-D antagonism from Mn was noticed even when AMS was in the tank mix, but Zn fertilizer solutions did not antagonize 2,4-D activity on either weed species. Although divalent cations can antagonize 2,4-D dimethylamine and reduce perennial broadleaf weed control, adding AMS can overcome this antagonism when Ca and Mg are the primary cations in spray solution. Applicators should avoid using Mn fertilizers when applying 2,4-D dimethylamine because AMS did not successfully overcome antagonism.

2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) es un ingrediente común en herbicidas POST para el control de malezas de hoja ancha registrados para su uso en céspedes, pasturas, y cultivos de granos. El herbicida 2,4-D es un ácido débil, y cuando este se disocia puede adherirse a cationes presentes en soluciones de aspersión con aguas pesadas y/o soluciones con fertilizantes. Se realizaron experimentos de campo con 2,4-D dimethylamine para evaluar el efecto de soluciones con cationes en la eficacia del herbicida para el control de las malezas perennes de hoja ancha Taraxacum officinale y Plantago major. Los objetivos de esta investigación fueron (1) determinar si la eficacia de 2,4-D es influenciada por los cationes divalentes calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), manganese (Mn), y zinc (Zn) en la solución de aspersión; y (2) determinar si el agregar el adyuvante ammonium sulfate (AMS) a la solución de aspersión puede reducir el antagonismo. El control de P. major y T. officinale se redujo y el tamaño y masa de planta aumentó cuando 2,4-D fue aplicado en una solución de Ca en comparación con agua desionizada. Sin embargo, el antagonismo con el 2,4-D fue reducido cuando se agregó AMS como adyuvante para la solución de aspersión. Magnesium causó antagonismo con 2,4-D en ambas especies de malezas en una de las corridas experimentales, la cual fue similar a la solución de Ca y AMS fue exitoso en reducir el antagonismo cuando se agregó a la mezcla en tanque. Se notó un poco de antagonismo entre 2,4-D y Mn inclusive cuando AMS estuvo en la mezcla en tanque, pero las soluciones de Zn no antagonizaron la actividad del 2,4-D en ninguna de las especies. Aunque los cationes divalentes pueden antagonizar al 2,4-D dimethylamine y reducir el control de malezas perennes de hoja ancha, el agregar AMS puede reducir este antagonismo cuando Ca y Mg son los cationes primarios en la solución de aspersión. Los aplicadores deberían evitar usar fertilizantes con Mn cuando apliquen 2,4-D dimethylamine porque AMS no reducirá exitosamente el antagonismo.


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Associate Editor for this paper: Ramon G. Leon, University of Florida.



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Divalent Cations in Spray Water Influence 2,4-D Efficacy on Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) and Broadleaf Plantain (Plantago major)

  • Aaron J. Patton (a1), Daniel V. Weisenberger (a1) and William G. Johnson (a2)


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