About a hundred chemical dealers, educators and members of the ag media toured the Cimarron Valley Research Station south of Stillwater, Oklahoma, Thursday to see performance trials of PowerFlex, a new post-emerge grass and broadleaf herbicide from Dow AgroSciences for winter wheat fields.
PowerFlex, whose main active ingredient is pyroxsulam (an ALS mode compound) shows significant control of cheat and ryegrass in the northcentral Oklahoma plots at Perkins and 10 miles away in Stillwater. In addition, the newest addition to Dow's arsenal of small-grain herbicides is currently rated at nine months for a rotational window for sunflowers, sorghum, cotton, soybeans and canola -- making it useful in rotation schemes in the area. Chad Cummings, Dow's field scientist for the area says by summer's end, the company hopes to have a five-month window for soybeans on the label.
Oklahoma State University weed scientist Tom Peeper says PowerFlex is an interesting chemical that many producers will find useful because of its flexibility in rotational schemes and its efficacy on an ever-broadening list of broadleaf weeds and the main grass competitors. He's had experience with the compound since late in 2006.
Jim Parker, Dow's national marketing director, says PowerFlex is coming to market in a two-year period, compared with the normal five-year development time. He credits a three-way registration processes by Canada, Australia and the United States, and early-satisfaction of patent questions for some of the proprietary safeners found in the product Pricing will be made available in summer months, and Parker indicates it will be "competitive" with competing products, specifically considering its ease of use.
Parker also notes PowerFlex is designed specifically for the southern Wheat Belt and for small grain fields in the Mississippi Delta region.
Powerflex is rated at 3.5 ounces per acre once a year. Tests at Perkins showed it at rates up to 4X label and with four application dates ranging from November through February. In all cases it showed satisfactory (visibly apparent) performance on target species, and rotational flexibility for corn, sorghum and soybeans. The product requires a surfactant and can be tank mixed with many other herbicides and insecticides. The company specifically nixes the use of organophosphate insecticides and amine formulations of phenoxy chemicals with PowerFlex, however.
Powerflex controls or suppresses 11 grasses and 21 broadleaf species -- including pigweed and wild buckwheat with a spring application; and a number of mustards with both spring and fall treatments.
Dow officials say because PowerFlex has an ALS chemistry it needs to be used in a carefully-planned manner where growers suspect ALS resistance to be present. "That's why we recommend tank mixing PowerFlex with products of different modes of action," Parker explains.