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New registration for Brake herbicide

Group 12 herbicide offers mode of action for resistant pigweed.

Whitney Haigwood, Staff Writer

March 24, 2023

6 Min Read
Side by side comparison of two fields, with a clean treated field on the left and weeds in the field on the right.
Brake was utilized in a 2022 trial in Newport, Ark. to demonstrate the effectiveness of the herbicide. The treated plot (left) received a preemergence application of 16 fluid ounces of Brake with 12.8 fluid ounces of Outlook, compared to the untreated plot (right).SePro Ag Corporation

Brake herbicide is touted by SePro Ag Corporation as the foundation preemergence residual to combat grass and broadleaf weeds in cotton. It is hailed by university specialists and cotton farmers alike, and the EPA recently approved a Section 3 Registration for Brake that allows the use on peanut acreage nationwide. 

“For the last two years, Brake has had a Section 18 Registration in Arkansas and Missouri for the use on peanuts. This year, we have received a federal label that will allow the use of Brake on peanut in the U.S., wherever the crop is grown,” said Jeff Jetton, technical sales specialist for SePRO Ag Corporation. 

The Group 12 herbicide is manufactured by SePro Ag, and Jetton said that Brake offers an underutilized mode of action to combat resistant pigweed populations.  

“Pigweed is the primary target,” he said. “One of the concerns that university specialists have expressed is that we are putting a lot of pressure on Group 15 herbicides, and we are seeing a lot of resistance to those herbicides. That is why they are recommending a different mode of action, and Brake is currently the only registered Group 12 herbicide to control pigweed in cotton and peanut.”  

With the new federal label, SePro Ag Corporation is approaching each state to approve the herbicide, and there will be a supplemental label in each state to allow the use. 

Strong residual activity 

Brake is a suspension concentrate that contains 1.2 pounds fluridone per gallon, and it is a compatible tank-mix partner with liquid fertilizers and other herbicides labeled in cotton and peanut. 

The most common tank mix is Brake plus Cotoran and Gramoxone, but Jetton noted Brake is compatible with anything you want to put in the tank. While it can be applied at pre-plant, the majority of applications are made behind the planter. 

Jetton said, “Brake has extremely long residual. If you come in with a preemergence application, then follow it up in 14 to 20 days with the next overlay – with another residual like Warrant, Prowl, or Dual Magnum – then there is less likelihood for you to need that last post application later in the season.” 

Tom Barber, extension weed scientist at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, agrees. In early March, Barber presented at a peanut production meeting held in Forrest City, Ark., and he shared his experience with Brake herbicide. They have looked at Brake for several years, and he anticipates it going out on more acres with the new registration. 

“I don’t know of any fields without pigweed in this area. A preemergence application of Valor at 2 to 3 ounces plus Brake at 12 to 16 ounces is excellent on pigweed,” Barber said. 

Pigweed is not the only weed that Brake controls. Secondary weeds include morningglories, groundcherry, marestale, henbit, the nettles, teaweed, and spurges. 

Barber also noted that many farmers have used Brake in combination with Dual Magnum or Outlook as a preemergence application. “To be honest, on a lot of the species we have here in Arkansas, that tank mix is as good – if not better – than using Valor.” 

Activating rainfall is crucial 

While Brake’s residual activity is noteworthy, a half-inch rainfall is critical for activation. An activating rain or irrigation should occur within the first five days after application. 

“It all depends on the timing and amount of rainfall to get Brake activated. Brake will carry residual activity further, but we have to get the rainfall and moisture to get it done. If we put Brake out and it does not rain very much, it is not going to help us very much,” Barber said. 

Local farmers agree. Ramey Stiles and Payton Stegall grow cotton and peanuts in the Arkansas Delta. They have used Brake over the course of the past four years on cotton. Last year they applied it on half of their peanut acres. So far, they have been lucky enough to get the beneficial rains to activate the herbicide. 

“It all depends on mother nature. You have to get that half-inch of rain to activate it. If you don’t get the activating rain, you are just throwing your money out there,” Stegall noted. 

At planting, they shoot for a residual herbicide application before the cotton plants emerge – no later than seven days and ideally within one to two days after planting. For peanuts, Stegall noted that the slower plant emergence provides a wider window to get beneficial rainfall for Brake activation. 

In cotton, Stiles and Stegall tank mix Brake with Gramoxone and Diuron for warmer temperatures or Cotoran for cooler temperatures. This year in peanuts, they used Brake plus Valor. 

“With peanuts, besides Gramoxone, Brake is all you have to eliminate pigweed and you have to get it early,” Stegall said. 

He mentioned the steep price difference of Brake compared to other herbicides. Brake costs between $170 to $200 per gallon. At a pint rate, that is pricey. However, Stiles and Stegall agree that saving a POST application offsets the cost. 

“Brake is a really good herbicide. The one driving factor that possibly keeps a lot of people from using Brake is the price. It is expensive, but even at that, you can save on an application of Roundup and Liberty mixed with another residual, along with the labor and inputs to run the sprayer through the field. With that, the juice is worth the squeeze to me,” Stegall said. 

In addition, Brake does not leach under wet conditions. In fact, the more rainfall or irrigation, the better for weed control. Stegall even recalled times when he saw a beneficial rainfall that resulted in Brake reactivation, saving another POST application. 

Crop safety is key 

A key feature of Brake is reduced herbicide injury, and Jetton described Brake as one of the most crop-safe products that you can put out today. 

“There are two reasons why cotton specialists from every university in the Midsouth, from Louisiana all the way up to Missouri, use Brake in their OVT trials. One reason is crop safety. It also allows them to use different herbicide technology traited cotton side by side, without the worry of off target movement,” he said. 

Stiles echoed those sentiments for peanuts. He said, “We were impressed with the crop safety in peanuts. There was no herbicide injury.” 

Brake may bleach the grass if it leaks onto the ground where the sprayer is filled, but Stegall added, “As far as in the field, you do not see it on the plants.” 

Regardless of the preemergence herbicide you choose, residuals are key, and Brake is a great crop-safe tool to have in the toolbox for cotton and peanut.  

Jetton noted that there is plenty of supply, with no worry about availability this year. 

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