BASF launches weed killer for field pea crops

Viper, a new tank-mixed herbicide combo of BASF’s liquid Basagran Forte and granular Solo, has picked up federal registration for weed control in Prairie field pea crops.

The product, launched Tuesday by BASF Canada during Crop Production Week in Saskatoon and available in “limited” amounts for 2009, combines the two herbicides with ammonium sulphate in the form of 28 per cent UAN (sold separately).

The product, combining Basagran’s Group 6 active ingredient, bentazon, with Solo’s Group 2 active ingredient, imazamox, is meant to provide pea growers with a different mode of action against resistant types of weeds, acting both on contact and through uptake in soils.

“As a result, this herbicide controls resistant biotypes of wild mustard and volunteer canola,” BASF said in a release. “Viper also has strong activity on resistant biotypes of kochia.”

“The Viper did very well on everything, it was probably the cleanest peas we had,” said Mike Adelman, a grower from Strasbourg, Sask. who used the product at one of BASF’s 29 GrowForward Yield Challenge sites last summer, in the company’s release.

The company said Viper is registered for all soil zones across Western Canada and gives growers “excellent rotational freedom” to grow Clearfield or non-Clearfield canolas, canary seed, chickpeas, corn, lentils, durum, flax, spring barley, spring wheat, sunflowers, field peas and tame oats in the year after an application.

Needs nitrogen

One of Viper’s components, Basagran, needs a nitrogen source such as BASF 28 per cent UAN for its own “enhanced” broad-spectrum weed control in soybeans. Viper, however, requires a nitrogen source to perform as pledged.

A case of Viper, which treats 40 acres at a minimum water volume of 40 litres per acre, must be applied with two cases of BASF 28 per cent UAN at a rate of 0.8 litres per acre.

“Without this required nitrogen source, Viper performance is significantly reduced,” the company said in its literature. “A significant reduction in grass control is observed when Viper is applied without the ammonium sulphate contained in 28 per cent UAN.”

Farmers mixing Viper will have to add the Solo water-dispersable granular (WDG) component first, followed by the Basagran Forte, and lastly by the 28 per cent UAN, the company said.

Viper is to be used for control of broadleaf weeds such as cow cockle, green smartweed, lamb’s-quarters, redroot pigweed, shepherd’s-purse, stinkweed, volunteer Clearfield and non-Clearfield canola, volunteer Clearfield and non-Clearfield lentils and wild mustard, including resistant types. It also offers “strong activity” against cleavers, wild buckwheat and kochia, including resistant biotypes, the company said.

Along with wild oats, including resistant biotypes, Viper is also registered for control of barnyard grass, green foxtail (wild millet), Persian darnel, volunteer barley, volunteer canary seed, volunteer durum wheat, volunteer spring wheat (except Clearfield wheat), volunteer tame oats and yellow foxtail, and for suppression of Japanese brome grass, the company said.

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