NovaChem > Industry News > 2019 > Weedenz - the organic alternative to glyphosate

Weedenz - the organic alternative to glyphosate

Published on 24/06/2019

That’s the word from Peter Westaway, general manager of Orion AgriScience.
However, it is with trepidation that he views developments in Europe and North America, where glyphosate is coming under increasing pressure.
As a major supplier of glyphosate to the NZ market for over 20 years, Orion recognises the vital importance glyphosate plays in modern food production , and how much we have come to depend on it.
“The alternatives are limited,” Westaway says.
“There is glufosinate ammonium, but that is not as effective on some species as glyphosate. It lacks the systemic properties of glyphosate, therefore it does not work as well on some species, and it is about four to five times more expensive.”
One alternative that Orion AgriScience has been working on is Weedenz Rapid.
Weedenz Rapid is derived from plant extracts, and has a physical mode of action rather than biochemical.
“Using Weedenz Rapid burns off the top foliage of the plant, severely depleting its ability to photosynthesize and thrive.

“This can work very well on small and annual weeds,” Peter Westaway explains.
This product is broad spectrum, fast acting and leaves no soil residues.
But, he adds, Weedenz Rapid is not systemic like glyphosate and so larger and perennial weeds can grow back from the roots.
Orion sees Weedenz Rapid as a potential option in horticulture, especially for organic growers and those growers willing to accept the higher use rates and more frequent spraying involved in using current alternatives to glyphosate.
“Weedenz Rapid can deal to larger annual weeds, and perennial weeds, but repeated spraying would be needed to deplete the root reserves.”

Finding a broad spectrum, low cost, nonresidual, and highly effective herbicide as an alternative to glyphosate is a big ask.
Until an alternative is found, the only options currently available are returning to more intensive cultivation, with all the potential downsides that brings, together with the more targeted use of less effective and more expensive herbicides such as Weedenz Rapid.
Peter Westaway believes managing growers expectations about the alternatives to glyphosate is important, given the disparity between performance and cost of glyphosate compared to the alternatives currently available.
For more detail, visit www.orionagriscience. or phone 0800 674 6627.

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