DuPont: Soluble Sulfonylurea Herbicides Science Award

23-Feb-2010 - USA
The Soluble Sulfonylurea Cereal herbicides team – Robert Roche, Nora Blythe, Luann Pugh, Tim Obrigawitch – was recently awarded the Bolton/Carothers Innovative Science Award at the 2009 DuPont Excellence Awards. The Bolton/Carothers Innovative Science Award recognizes creative scientific invention or discovery that results in a recently commercialized new product, technology or business generating significant revenue with the potential for sustainable earnings. SU herbicides, invented by George Levitt in 1975, were revolutionary, representing the first high-efficacy, low-dose application rate herbicides. They control a broad range of grass and broadleaf weeds with excellent safety to the crops they are designed to protect. This team took a new look at this established technology and asked themselves, “How can we make these herbicides perform even better?” Traditional SU herbicide products form cloudy dispersions in spray tanks. The active ingredients are in suspension. But this creative research team improved the delivery system by developing sulfonylurea herbicide in a soluble granule (SG) form. The new SG products combine a patent-pending Optimized Base System that delivers the active ingredient in a granule that fully dissolves in water. The fully dissolvable form provides faster, more consistent weed control because of improved leaf penetration and better uptake of the herbicide. More active herbicide is available to control weeds and weed control is not as affected by stress, drought and physical characteristics of the weed. As a result of the high water solubility, spray tanks are more easily cleaned because the active ingredient particles do not adhere to the tank sides. There are no insoluble residues, so cleanup requires significantly less time and tank cleaning uses about 90% less water. Further, the simplified spray tank cleanout ensures that residues cannot be inadvertently applied to other sensitive crops.

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