“I’d like to have folks put it out on 5 acres,” Horvath says.
Because it’s weak on some weeds, Horvath says growers also may want to apply a pre-emergence herbicide, such as Devrinol, as a top dressing after bed preparation.
The Environmental Protection Agency registered DMDS in July 2010. Florida subsequently registered it in late 2011.
Paladin is available in two formulations: Paladin for shank application and Paladin EC for application through drip irrigation.
In multiple trials, a tankmix of Paladin with chloropicrin at a 79:21 ratio, accompanied by an over-the-bed herbicide program, produced results comparable to methyl bromide, Horvath says.
The Paladin label contains a list of approved TIF and VIF films that must be used in conjunction with the fumigant.
The newer films, which are required by EPA, hold fumigants in the soil longer, improving control of soilborne pathogens.
VIF and TIF films also minimize DMDS’ distinct garlic-like odor, Horvath says.
“If you treat it right and if you fumigate with best practices, there’s no problems,” he says. “The barrier films have been a tremendous help for us.”
Carl Grooms, a Plant City strawberry grower, has tried Paladin and says it performs as well or better than the standard 50:50 methyl bromide/pic blend and for a much lower cost.
Where Grooms says he has an issue is with Paladin’s mandatory buffers. Grooms lives on the edge of one of his fields, and the buffers prevented him from fumigating the part closest to his house.
But he says he realized the EPA imposed those same buffers on other registered soil fumigants on Dec. 1, 2012.
Grooms typically applies an herbicide barrier of Devrinol and Goal on the top of his beds and fumigates with either K-Pam or Pic-Chlor 60, a blend of chloropicrin and 1,3-dichloropropene.
Gary Vallad, a vegetable plant pathologist, is one year into a two-year field trial at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Wimauma comparing different cultural techniques and herbicides to control yellow nutsedge.
Plots that were treated with the 79-21 Paladin/chloropicrin blend were clean, whereas nutsedge was poking through the plastic mulch in many of the other plots.
“The Paladin/pic does a great job on the nutsedge,” Vallad says. “It’s really important for pepper growers because there are very few herbicides labeled post-emerge.”