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Nonionic Surfactant Affects Dislodgeable 2,4-D Foliar Residue from Turfgrass

  • Patrick J. Maxwell (a1), Travis W. Gannon (a2) and Richard J. Cooper (a3)

2,4-dimethylamine salt (2,4-D) is a synthetic auxin herbicide used extensively in turfgrass for selective broadleaf weed control. Previous research has shown that 2,4-D can dislodge from treated turf, notably in the presence of canopy moisture. Practitioners commonly apply 2,4-D in combination with various commercially available surfactants to increase efficacy. Field research was completed to evaluate the effect of surfactant inclusion and sample collection time within a day on dislodgeable 2,4-D residue from perennial ryegrass. Research was initiated May 24, 2016 in Raleigh, NC and repeated in time to quantify dislodgeable 2,4-D following application (2.1 kg ae ha–1) either alone or with a nonionic surfactant (0.5% vol/vol). Sample collection occurred 1, 2, 3, 6, 12 or 24 d after treatment (DAT) at AM [7:00 AM Eastern Standard Time (EST)] and PM (2:00 PM EST) sample timings within a day. 2,4-D applied with surfactant (0.4% to 25.4% of applied) reduced dislodgeable foliar residue compared to 2,4-D applied alone (0.5% to 31.2%) from 1 through 6 DAT, whereas dislodgeable 2,4-D was not detected at 12 and 24 DAT. Regardless of surfactant inclusion or absence, samples collected in the AM resulted in a 5- to 10-fold increase in dislodgeable 2,4-D compared to samples collected in the PM from 1 through 6 DAT, suggesting that 2,4-D dislodgeability may be influenced by conditions favoring canopy moisture development. This research will improve turfgrass management practices and research designed to minimize human 2,4-D exposure.

Corresponding author
Author for correspondence: Patrick J. Maxwell, Graduate Student, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, North Carolina State University, 101 Derieux Place, Raleigh, NC 27695. (Email:
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