The 2017 winter and spring cereal crops will likely be quite different compared to past years for farmers in many countries in the EU. The reason? A revolutionary new herbicide from Dow Agrosciences called Arylex Active. Although it is still in the process of being registered in many countries, Arylex has already proven to be a game changer in the agricultural industry. The latest countries to get access to this herbicide will be seeing the benefits very shortly when it comes time to harvest the winter and spring cereal crops.
Even though it’s been on the market for such a short period of time compared to other herbicides, Arylex is already making waves. Just recently, it was one of Dow Chemical’s products to receive an R&D 100 Award from R&D Magazine, recognized for scientific innovation and the benefits it offers today’s farmers.
But what exactly is Arylex, and what makes it so special?
What is Arylex Active?
Like all herbicides(read more), Arylex is a type of crop protection product that helps eliminate weeds from fields. Weeds can seriously impact crop yield by competing with the crops for limited resources, like space, water, sunlight and nutrients. Furthermore, weeds can carry plant diseases and house pests that can do even more damage to the crops we rely on for food.
Arylex is classified as a Group O herbicide, meaning it is a synthetic auxin. Essentially, all Group O herbicides work by mimicking a hormone that weeds use in their growth and development. But unlike the real hormone, the herbicide molecule gets lodged in the plant’s receptor, causing a chain reaction that prevents the plant from having control over its cell division. This leads to the death of many species of broadleaf weeds in a matter of days, while leaving the crop safe and sound.
Unlike other Group O herbicides, Arylex represents a brand new structural class, meaning the chemical structure of the active molecule is completely different from anything else on the market. The new structural class is called “arylpicolinates”.
What makes Arylex so revolutionary?
A product has to offer some pretty significant benefits in order to win the R&D 100 Award, and Arylex certainly delivers in that regard.Compared to other synthetic auxin weed killers, this product has a higher specificity for its binding site, making it more effective at lower doses. Its binding site is also different from other herbicides in its group, which makes it helpful for farmers who are trying to prevent weed resistance from emerging in their fields. The more weed receptors can be targeted, the less likely a strain of resistant weeds will emerge.
Apart from that, Arylex Active also gives farmers flexibility in application that is simply unheard of. Most herbicides lose effectiveness in extreme temperature or under very wet or very dry conditions. These weather restrictions place severe limitations on when farmers are able to apply the product. The product also has excellent crop safety, so crop growers can apply it without worrying about damaging their grains and thus their livelihood.
Most importantly, Dow has created a remarkably safe herbicide for humans, animals, pollinators and the environment. For evidence of this, simply consider that new safety and environmental regulations in the EU have made it impossible for any new herbicides to be brought to market in more than five years – that is, until Arylex was developed.
So far, this new product is being used in a variety of co-formulations with other types of herbicides. It has been registered in a number of EU countries with more expected to register this year, plus several countries outside of Europe.