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Does Harvade improve herbicide mix?

As a cotton harvest aide, Harvade has gained a reputation as a fine, dependable product for desiccation of weeds and vines. Lately, though, Uniroyal has pushed Harvade as a booster ingredient for weed-killing post-directed tank-mixes. Simply add Harvade to your favorite herbicide, spray and watch the weeds wither.

How well does it work? Several consultants and researchers addressed that question at the Uniroyal-sponsored Chemical Cotton College in Nashville, Tenn.

"This past season we were able to look at Harvade on a demonstration plot. In our area, we've gone away from Roundup Ready cotton - no more than 20 percent of our acreage is in Roundup Ready. In fact, in our area Roundup Ready and stacked gene varieties don't yield nearly as well as the new conventionals. In some areas, 90 percent of the acreage will go to conventionals next year, much of it to Fibermax," says Paul Pilsner, a consultant with Consultant Research out of East Bernard, Texas.

So it's essential that Pilsner's farming neighbors have some good lay-by products to use.

"Harvade is a product that deserves to be looked at. We need to learn how to best use it on the weed spectrum we have. This season I found a field with a good, wide-spectrum of weeds - nutsedge, morningglories, balloonvines, Mexican weed, pigweed, and sunflowers," says Pilsner.

Pilsner's current standard herbicide mix is Caparol with MSMA directed. And he always uses a pre-emergence herbicide - normally Command and Staple.

For the demonstration plot, Pilsner added Harvade to the MSMA and Caparol to see if he could increase effectiveness - especially on the morningglories and balloonvines.

Pilsner says balloonvines aren't widespread, but can be a real problem. The vine is a woody perennial that's hard to control and makes harvest difficult if much is in a field.

"We were able to increase our effectiveness with Harvade. It was put out with a lay-by rig - not a hooded rig - when cotton was 15 inches tall. We used Command and Staple with it and it was the only application used."

At harvest there were very few weeds that had made it through the whole season.

"The grower found some very hungry college students and was able to get the field chopped a month prior to harvest; that helped. But we could have harvested it without that. The grower is very particular, though, so it was a very clean field."

Pilsner says he talked to another consultant who works about 100 miles south of East Bernard.

"He was able to use Harvade with Roundup in several applications. He feels they were able to do a bit better job by adding the Harvade and got a little better desiccation. And the finding was that the growers may be able to reduce Roundup rates by using Harvade - that needs to be looked at."

"I'm from southeast Arkansas and have consulted there for 38 years. Some of the species we have are morningglories, morningglories, morningglories and a few other things thrown in! We do have a species not mentioned yet: wild okra. As long as you can cover it, it appears you can kill it with Harvade," says Charles Denver, a consultant for Farmland Industries.

But one thing that needs to be stressed with Harvade: if you don't cover it, you likely won't kill it, says Denver.

"We have several morningglories, tealeaf, spurge, sesbania, sicklepod and several others. On land near the Mississippi River, we run into sesbania, sicklepod and okra quite a bit. We've worked with Harvade in 1999 and 2000. We've been very pleased. With sesbania, the plants need to be small to be taken out."

In Denver's area, there's very little Roundup Ready cotton. That will change. As the varieties get better, Denver suspects it will move in.

Acreage is largely conventionally tilled in Denver's area. "We have a bit of minimum till. There has been some BXN cotton in the last few years. We've had a lot of problems with spurge in the BXN. That means we're using a lot of Staple pre- at the rate of 0.2 to 0.3 ounce. That does an excellent job on both spurge and tealeaf."

Residual effects of Harvade are a "possibility," says Denver.

"It looked like we were getting a bit of that. I prefer to use Harvade with Caparol and MSMA. That seems to do a good job for us."

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