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The “EW” in New PBI-Gordon Herbicides

By Eric Reasor, Ph.D.

By Eric Reasor, Ph.D.

Southeast Research Scientist

PBI-Gordon has a long history of innovation in pesticide formulations from the original Fairway (Trimec®) herbicide to our new SpeedZone® EW Broadleaf Herbicide for Turf and SpeedZone® Southern EW Broadleaf Herbicide for Turf. Pesticide formulations not only impact pest control, but also how they are applied, stored, and interact with the environment.

How often should you think about pesticide formulations?

Not all pesticide formulations are created equal. Some are easy to make, some are difficult, and some are impossible. The chemistry of the active ingredient or combination thereof dictates everything. Some of these chemical properties include molecular structure, pH, melting point, and solubility.

Why are pesticide formulations important?

Pesticide formulations can certainly impact control efficacy against the target pest. But they also dictate how you mix and apply pesticides. For example, both dispersible granule (DG, WDG) and granular (G) pesticides must be weighed dry, but granular products are spread dry and dispersible granules are mixed in water and sprayed. Additionally, pesticides are formulated in specific ways so they can be mixed and applied with other products and stored for significant periods of time. Lastly, pesticides are formulated to work so you can depend on the product to perform (barring any unforeseen issues). All this may lead to certain active ingredients and products with only one formulation.

What is the newest formulation technology at PBI-Gordon?

PBI-Gordon is on the forefront of formulation technology with our new SpeedZone EW and SpeedZone Southern EW herbicides. These products were once emulsifiable concentrate (EC) formulations that contained petroleum distillates. The new emulsion-in-water (EW) formulation is water-based. Removal of petroleum distillates reduces volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the formulation thus reducing corrosiveness, odor, and vapor drift. Our EW formulation meets all the current VOC regulations, as well as future regulations should they tighten.

How does the EW formulation impact the turfgrass industry?

The removal of the petroleum distillates in the EW formulation process allows for product supply stability and performance. Petroleum distillate supply and demand can often be interrupted by hurricanes and atypical cold temperatures, which can cause manufacturing fluctuations. The EW formulation process also leads to a smaller active ingredient particle size. This facilitates more active ingredient reaching more of the weed leaf surface area. This has proven itself in university field efficacy trials in addition to particle size analysis.

Watch it in action:

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