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Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Pistol® put through its paces in Ireland - totally

An extraordinary wet spring and summer certainly put Pistol® through its paces during first year of use on both hard and soft surfaces across an even greener than usual Emerald Isle. But the herbicide still came out with both barrels blazing from what some described as the wettest season in living memory.

Pistol® is a ‘twin-attack’ ‘twin-pack’ herbicide from Bayer Environmental Science combining fast initial knockdown and a weed seed germination barrier at soil surface level. The herbicide works best when weeds are growing fast, and they were certainly doing that during 2007 says Gregg Fanning, Maintenance Contract Manager with Peter O’Brien & Sons Landscaping of Malahide Dublin.
Weather conditions were difficult for application of any herbicide but ‘wetter the better’ appeared to be the case as far as Pistol® was concerned in 2007. Pistol® performed well under pressure says Gregg, who has already used the product on gravel surfaces, under hedges and targeted around ornamental shrubs in bare soil beds.

Deposits were generally rain fast within one hour of application says Charlie Lyons Sales Manager at Spray-Chem Environmental who monitored results during Pistol’s first year in the Republic of Ireland. There was good feedback from landscapers, local authorities and road gangs using Pistol in a variety of situations including hard, ballast, soft and gravel surfaces. Pavement weed control was excellent says Charlie.

Rapid rain fastness was a boon for spray scheduling. With its 1 hour rain fastness operators could safely spray Pistol® up to midday even if rain was forecast for 2-3 pm in the afternoon, observed Charlie Lyons.

Pistol® contains two chemically unrelated active ingredients (glyphosate and diflufenican) with completely different mode of action, but complementing each other to provide fast initial knockdown and the long-lasting control now expected of any modern cost effective total herbicide for the amenity sector.

Rapid kill is through the non-selective translocated activity of glyphosate circulating around the entire weed plant. Diflufenican (DFF) provides long duration control of subsequent weed growth (six months), by establishing a soil-acting barrier to prevent weed seed germination.

Gregg Fanning was impressed by Pistol®'s speed against a vast range of weeds all within 10 days of application, and followed by long lasting control especially given the testing weather conditions after he had sprayed Pistol® in May. Pistol® certainly performed well under pressure, says Gregg. Charlie Lyons says first signs of plants ‘browning off’ showed 6 days after spraying with the weeds well on the way out by day 10.

The enormous spectrum of grass and broad leaf weeds encountered in a wide range of situations is the biggest hurdle facing amenity managers, and places heavy demands on application versatility and weed control spectrum for any herbicide.

Gregg was pleased to find Pistol® dealt with all weeds he encountered in a wide range of situations. “Hawkweed, willow herb, sun spurge, fumitory and chickweed are generally difficult to control, but one application of Pistol® in May prevented any further re-growth. Dense growth of chickweed under large established trees will be one of the first targets for Pistol® in 2008”, says Gregg

Approval for Pistol® in the Republic of Ireland coincides with the imminent (end of 2008) withdrawl of diuron the traditionally used total herbicide. That said diuron could never match Pistol® for weed spectrum, speed of knockdown and application versatility, especially early season spraying.

Best time to apply Pistol® is April and May when weeds are growing at full speed. But Pistol is sufficiently versatile to cope with early growth in January and February triggered by mild winters, and to tidy late season growth in July. “With such a wide window of application and barrier effect extending long term Pistol® is providing durable control”, says Charlie Lyons. "The extremely fast knockdown together with excellent weed prevention by Pistol® is a real bonus, meaning fewer re-visits and substantial savings in labour costs" says Gregg Fanning.

[ last update: Friday, August 15, 2008 ]