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Maximum Control

October 13, 2021 -  By

Applications containing multiple products can help LCOs save time and manpower while achieving superior control.

The typical lawn care operator makes just four to eight visits to a customer’s property each year, so it’s crucial to maximize the impact of each one.

“It goes back to the old adage of trying to do more with less,” said Chester VandenBerg, Corteva Agriscience Turf & Ornamental territory manager. “Multiple products can make individual applications more effective.”

Chester VandenBerg

Chester VandenBerg, Corteva Agriscience Turf & Ornamental territory manager.

By combining multiple products, LCOs can target a number of different weeds with a single application. Mixing pre-emergent and post-emergent products can control visible weeds, as well as weeds that have yet to appear.

“When you have different products in the tank, LCOs save time and money by getting more out of the sprays they make,” VandenBerg said. “Having a preemergent mixed with a postemergent maximizes the value of time between applications.”

When deciding which products to combine, VandenBerg says the product’s group number, which indicates its mode of action, is a good place to start. LCOs should avoid mixing products with the same group number, as these products will work in similar ways and target similar weeds. LCOs should be sure to correctly identify the turf and choose products that are safe for that type. Mixing incompatible products can damage or burn turf and ornamentals, a problem VandenBerg says territory managers see often.

“Some products when mixed together create a synergy with a negative consequence and might cause some burn that you wouldn’t normally see when these same products are used alone,” he said. “LCOs should make sure to consider whether certain product combos could have unintended effects.”

LCOs should also properly identify the weeds to be targeted and choose products that are recommended for those plants. VandenBerg says all of this information can be found on the product’s label.

“Follow the labels,” he said. “They give a lot of information about how and when to use a product and what it can be mixed with.”

Time of year is also important to consider. VandenBerg says the best time to control weeds is when they are actively growing.

“A lot of people want to control weeds any time they see them,” he said. “But certain products may not work if a weed is at maturity or is too strong and healthy for the product to be effective. LCOs should pick the time of year when weeds are growing most actively for the best control.” 

Corteva has a number of tried and true combinations to help LCOs maximize the effectiveness of their applications. Dimension® specialty, a preemergent herbicide, and Defendor® specialty, a postemergent herbicide, is a combination that has exceptional control on the most troublesome weeds, including crabgrass, dandelion and clover. Defendor does particularly well in the early spring when it is too cold for other products, VandenBerg said. Defendor and Turflon® Ester Ultra specialty herbicide is another effective combination for LCOs to apply in the fall to make weed control easier come spring. 

“Applying this combination in the fall helps take care of perennial weeds that will try to overwinter and helps build a foundation for the spring,” VandenBerg said.

VandenBerg notes the benefits of the Corteva Ultimate Rewards Program, which offers year-long savings and rebates on Corteva turf and ornamental products, allows LCOs to earn cash back on their purchases. Through this program, LCOs can lock in rates through the end of February. With product shortages currently plaguing the industry, VandenBerg stresses the importance of ordering early to ensure LCOs have the products they need when the busy season starts.

“Purchasing early and having the product in their hands and ready to go will be beneficial in the spring,” VandenBerg said. “It’s extremely valuable for LCOs to not have to worry over the winter that they won’t have the products they need.”

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