DuPont launches new herbicide

Features - Industry News

Imprelis offers LCOs a high level of control with a reduced environmental impact.

March 14, 2011

SARASOTA, Fla. – About 100 lawn care operators gathered on the Gulf Coast of Florida in January to learn more about Imprelis, DuPont Professional Products’ latest introduction in the herbicide segment.

The introduction of Imprelis post-emergent broadleaf herbicide adds to DuPont’s expanding portfolio of green industry products and offers LCOs a high level of control with a reduced environmental impact.

“We’ve all seen this trend for a long time. Consumers want high-performance, high-quality products that have improved environmental profiles,” said Mike McDermott, DuPont’s global business manager.

Imprelis herbicide controls a wide range of broadleaf weeds with a new active ingredient – aptexor – and a new subclass of the carboxylic acid herbicides. The new AI allows LCOs to control weeds with much smaller applications of product: 4.5 fluid ounces (or 0.07 lbs.) per acre.

Bruce Steward, turf and ornamental product development manager for DuPont, said LCOs can “sometimes feel like you’re somewhat handcuffed” when it comes to broadleaf weed control – they’ve got to factor in temperature and weather restrictions, mowing and reseeding timing when considering what to apply and when to apply it.

Imprelis offers LCOs the following benefits:

  • They can reseed immediately before or after (on cool-season grasses).
  • The application is rainfast immediately. Rainfall or irrigation is not going to hurt the product. “It’s actually going to help it” get to roots better, Steward said.
  • There are no restrictions on temperature during application.
  • The herbicide is safe on cool season and some warm season grasses.
  • Limited PPE is required – no goggles or gloves.
  • The herbicide controls common and hard-to-control weeds in three to four weeks and is active at very low concentrations, Steward said.

Since 2006, universities and lawn care operators have completed more than 400 field trials with Imprelis. Mark Utendorf, owner of Emerald Lawn Care in Arlington Heights, Ill., spoke to meeting attendees about his experience using the new product to handle wild violets and creeping Charlie (ground ivy) in nearly 30 suburban Chicago lawns.

“If violets and creeping Charlie are problems, I would definitely do it. The results we saw were great,” Utendorf said, citing Imprelis’ near-perfect control of the two hard-to-control weeds.

He said he also liked the low application rate, which means he no longer has to buy and store 55-gallon barrels of product, or pallets of other supplements to target specific weeds.

“The joy of this product is you don’t have to screw around,” he said.

Utendorf uses the reduced environmental footprint – less product applied and less plastic waste from bottles – as green messaging on his website, in phone messages and on invoices left with customers. “We’re definitely talking about it,” he said.

Mark Coffelt, global development manager for DuPont, said the company is continually investing in research and development of new and innovative products for the turft and ornamental markets.

In 2008, DuPont spent hundreds of millions of dollars on R&D, Coffelt said. And where it typically takes a decade or longer to bring a new chemistry to market, Imprelis moved from the lab bench to EPA approval in just eight.

The release of Imprelis this winter follows the launch of Acelepryn insecticide in 2008. The two products are the first in a line-up of products from DuPont that are environmentally sound and have innovative modes of action. Acelepryn, which targets white grubs and other surface-feeding insects like billbugs and webworms, is the grub control product to have been granted reduced-risk status by the EPA for applications on turfgrass. It’s mode of action targets insects’ muscles, not their nervous systems, and therefore poses much less of a risk to non-target species.

LCOs can expect to see Imprelis impregnated on fertilizer in 2012 or early 2013. Coffelt said in the next few years, DuPont will bring even more products to the turf and ornamental markets, including two herbicides, two fungicides and an insecticide. L&L

The author is editor of Lawn & Landscape. He can be reached at