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Old 12-19-2012, 04:23 PM
B-Easy B-Easy is offline
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When to use Surfactant

On rounds when applying both pre and post emergent herbicides is it beneficial to include a surfactant, either non-ionic or MSO? By my logic, it would seem to be more detrimental than beneficial if it is impeeding the pre-emergent from getting washed into the soil. Labels on pre-emergent herbicides I have looked at do not indicate a surfactant should not be used.
Thoughts or any information you may be able to direct me to would be appreciated.

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Old 12-19-2012, 07:11 PM
TurfWerks TurfWerks is offline
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I have the same question.. My supplier tells me it is beneficial but cant explain why..
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:20 PM
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Putting a surfactant in the spray tank is beneficial with the post Emergent but i can't say about the pre emergent but i don't think it would keep the pre from getting to the soil

I do it all the time

You know that different surfactant do different things

The one that i use is a wetting agent it removes the waxy surface and spreads the liquid over the leaf surface for better herbicide up take for better weed kill

Charles Cue
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:57 PM
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RigglePLC RigglePLC is offline
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Myself, I think that a surfactant would not interfere with the action of a pre-emergent. It should increase the effectiveness of a post emergent like Trimec...especially for tough or hard to wet weeds.
Adding surfactant costs more, so be sure you are using the maximum rate of your herbicide, as that is usually more cost effective.
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:16 PM
TurfWerks TurfWerks is offline
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Like I said I feel its great for a post emerge, but pre emergent bothers me..
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:19 PM
B-Easy B-Easy is offline
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I have done some further reading on the subjuect and Non-ionic Surfactants are more of a "wetting" agent than anything. With that in mind and based on the mode of action of a wetting agent it would appear that it would be beneficial to use with pre-emergents herbicides. Furthermore, a wetting agent could aid in applications on hydrophobic soils.
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:51 PM
greendoctor greendoctor is online now
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True. The only surfactant that is questionable for lawn applications of preemergent herbicides are "stickers" based on resins, polymers or latex. I have heard of such materials used with preemergents, but for bare ground or for application to soil in ag crops. Making something stick to grass blades does not seem logical. On the other hand, using a non ionic wetting agent may enhance action of soil active products in a lawn.
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:13 PM
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Surfactants won't hurt your pre-emerg. In fact even though the label of a pre may not call for the use of a surfactant, it should acually help. Surfactants / spreader stickers etc. reduce surface tension of water. They make water wetter, that will aid in better coverage. Yes they benifit post emergent chems more than pre emerg, but they do not interfere with pre emerg because the dont keep it from being washed into the soil with irrigation.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:34 AM
grassmasterswilson grassmasterswilson is offline
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Make sure to check the herbicide labels. Some "mixes" already have it included. For example I don't use any with speedzone. It may be a pbi thing.

Had a guy here burn a ton of lawns with speedzone/Fert/surfactant mix
GrassMasters, LLC
Wilson, NC
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:47 AM
RAlmaroad RAlmaroad is offline
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Ask yourself what is your goal for the pre-em? Where is the action taking place? Above ground or below? Trans-location or non-trans location? You should be able to answer your own query. As greendoctor mentioned: it's superficial to use on bareground because your aim is to prevent weed development by halting the root growth.
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