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They're putting on the foil
by Bob Hartzler

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January 19, 2000 -  Although many companies have talked about yield advantages associated with their herbicide versus competitor's products, these are the first advertisements I've seen that have promoted this since the Lasso versus Dual war of the 1980's.  The following two pieces, one from Monsanto and the other from Zeneca, describe advantages of the two different forms of glyphosate (see article for description).  While we do not have any university research that has focused on the injury potential of Touchdown versus Roundup Ultra, we do not believe the differences in glyphosate formulation significantly influence crop safety.  Touchdown is more likely to cause minor burning of soybean leaves; however, research has shown little, if any, correlation between visible injury symptoms and crop yield.  We view Touchdown as a viable alternative to Roundup Ultra in the Roundup Ready system, and feel it is unfortunate that the two manufacturers have entered this form of advertising battle.  In the 1980's a lot of time and money was spent attempting to prove/disprove the yield advantage of Lasso over Dual; it would be unfortunate if this same type of 'arms race' occurred again.

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In case you are wondering about the reference to 'putting on the foil', this is a line from the classic hockey movie 'Slapshot'.  It refers to the Hanson brothers wrapping their fingers with aluminum foil in anticipation of getting into a fight during the game.

Prepared by Bob Hartzler, extension weed management specialist, Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University

For more information contact:
ISU Extension Agronomy
2104 Agronomy Hall
Ames, Iowa 50011-1010
Voice: (515) 294-1923
Fax: (515) 294-9985
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Common chemical and trade names are used in this publication. The use of trade names is for clarity by the reader. Inclusion of a trade name does not imply endorsement of that particular brand of herbicide and exclusion does not imply nonapproval.