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Surflan Availability Limited in 2001

Surflan availability in 2001 will be limited. An explosion near the manufacturing facility has stopped production of the preemergence herbicide. According to a company representative, production is expected to be resumed the last quarter next year. Therefore current stocks of Surflan is all that will be available in 2001.

Tree Fruit and Nut Options

Surflan is widely used in newly established tree plantings, however there are alternatives. Tree fruit growers have Prowl as an alternative for newly planted orchards. It's control spectrum is similar to Surflan and both are dinitroaniline herbicides. Another option is Solicam. However, Solicam can not be used in pecan or peach orchards until 6 months after planting and provides fair pigweed or lambsquarter control. Controlling weeds with only postemergence herbicides like Gramoxone, Poast or Fusilade is another alternative. Young, tender tree bark should be protected from Gramoxone. When using a total postemergence herbicide program applications must be timely.

Growers using Surflan as a tank mix partner with simazine in established orchards also have options. Solicam in combination with Simazine or Karmex is an excellent tank mix. Growers of peaches and apples have Karmex plus Sinbar as an alternative. The Karmex/Sinbar combination typically provides excellent, long term residual control.

Vineyard Options

Limited Surflan availability may impact grape growers most. Prowl can be used in newly planted vineyards, but it may not be applied after bud swell. Devrinol is an option, however it must be incorporated by rainfall or overhead irrigation with in 24 hrs. of application. The best approach might be to use a total postemergence program in newly planted vineyards. Gramoxone, Poast, Fusilade, and Select can be directed in newly planted vineyards. Young vines have to be protected from Gramoxone. Grow tubes effectively provide that protection. Application timeliness is also important.

In established vineyards Surflan is commonly used with simazine. An alternative is Solicam tan mixed with simazine or Karmex. Both combinations provide broad spectrum, long term residual weed control. However, Solicam label warns applications 3 months after bud break to grapes grown in coarse textured soils (sandy loam) may cause whitening in the leaf veins. As clay content increases the likelihood of veinal whitening decreases. The registration of Milestone, a new preemergence herbicide, is pending. Should Milestone registration clear EPA by spring it would be an option as well.


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