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ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #227669

Title: Up and coming organic herbicides

item Webber Iii, Charles
item Boydston, Rick

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/15/2008
Publication Date: 10/5/2008
Citation: Webber III, C.L., Shrefler, J.W., Taylor, M.J., Brandenberger, L.P., Boydston, R.A. 2008. Up and coming organic herbicides [abstract]. Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies Joint Meeting, October 5-9, 2008, Houston, Texas. 630:3.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In a recent national survey, weed control research was designated as the top research priority by organic producers. Organic weed control methods include crop rotations, cover crops, planting systems, mulches, mechanical methods, flaming, and organic herbicides. Although mechanical weed control through cultivation is useful for controlling weeds between rows, it is ineffective for controlling weeds between plants within rows. Very few chemical weed control options have been approved for organic use (corn gluten meal, vinegar, and clove oil), but additional compounds are under investigation and pursuing organic certification. As with corn gluten meal, mustard meal has shown promise as a preemergence herbicide. A formulation of pelargonic acid, a fatty acid, has proven effective as a postemergent herbicide, but the specific formulation still seeks final approval. Ammonium pelargonate is another potential organic herbicide that has shown excellent weed control activity and is presently waiting for approval as an organic herbicide. Additional active ingredients and variations in formulations are also being developed, entering initial greenhouse screenings, and progressing to extensive field evaluations. Even if all these active ingredients and their commercial formulations are registered by EPA and approved through the organic approval process, the application technology and timing will play an essential element in their successful integration into existing certified organic systems.