Among the newer herbicides that fruit growers should look at are Treevix, Alion, Matrix, Spartan, and Sandea, and there are new formulations of Sinbar and Rely, says Michigan State University weed control specialist Dr. Bernie Zandstra.
Treevix (saflufenacil) was new last year, introduced by BASF. It has both foliar and soil activity against broadleaf weeds, especially horseweed (marestail), according to Zandstra. It can be tank mixed with glyphosate for faster burndown. It is not volatile and is tree safe.
Matrix (rimsulfuron) is an older product from DuPont Crop Protection that was registered for use on fruit, nuts, and grapes in 2007. It provides broad pre- and postemergence control of broadleaf weeds and grasses, and is effective on horseweed, which is often resistant to glyphosate.
Sandea (halosulfuron-methyl) is another older herbicide long used in vegetable production but cleared this year for use in some fruit. It can be used pre- and postemergence and controls broadleaf weeds—but also effectively controls yellow nutsedge, a weed that has crept into orchards while other weeds have been suppressed.
Alion (indaz-flam) is not yet labeled. Being introduced by Bayer CropScience, it is a preemergence herbicide with a long residual action and can be tank mixed with Roundup or Rely for control of broadleaf weeds and annual grasses.
Spartan (sulfentrazone) is also not yet labeled, but is coming to fruit, according to Zandstra. Produced by FMC Agricultural Products, it is used now in sunflower and tobacco production. Applied preemergence, it provides residual control of some difficult weeds such as kochia and Russian thistle.
Sinbar, Zandstra said, has been reformulated as a water-dispersible product, “a big improvement” over the old wettable powder.
Rely, recently reformulated, is a nonselective postemergence herbicide that will control weeds that are resistant to glyphosate.