The Confusion of Herbicide Product Naming

Mark VanGessel, Extension Weed Specialist;

A common strategy in product marketing to build upon name recognition, and I find this can be very confusing. One example is when someone writes “Oreos” on the shopping list; do they want the original or one of the twenty-five different varieties.

In the case of herbicides, how often do we mention “Roundup”? Does that mean one of the nine formulations listed on the CDMS database or one of the countless generic versions in the marketplace? Does it matter? Yes, because different formulations have different concentrations and that will influence the maximum amount of product allowed for a single application or for the entire season.

Another example of naming confusion is the proliferation of premixes that rely on name recognition. One specific case is Zidua (active ingredient is pyroxasulfone). The first named product was “Zidua” which was a dry formulation. It was followed by the “Zidua SC” formulation, which is a liquid and if someone did not catch the difference, the end result was an application of a lower rate of the active ingredient. Now there is “Zidua PRO” which is a prepackaged mixture and not only contains pyroxasulfone, but also “Pursuit” and “Sharpen”. Zidua and Zidua SC are labeled for application for over the top of soybeans, but Zidua PRO is not because it contains Sharpen, which will kill (or severely injure) emerged soybeans. So it is important to be precise and don’t hesitate to question what formulation or premixtures of a product someone is referring to when discussing herbicides.