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by Ryan Neal - November 12, 2018
We have another guest post from Benton County Agent and Blueberry Grower Ryan Neal.
Ryan conducted a demonstration of different Pre-emergent herbicides for blueberry
production. This is good information as you move into planning for next spring’s production
This demonstration looked at the new pre-emergent herbicide Alion which is newly labeled
in Arkansas for blueberries. Dr. Burgos trialed various herbicides in 2017 at the
research station in Clarksville and the data collected favored the use of Alion compared
to older more common pre-emergent herbicides such as Princep and Surflan. The label
for Alion suggests it has longer residual control of weeds than that of Surflan or
Princep. The sticker price can be intimidating at first sight so in this demonstration
I paired the contact herbicide Gramaxone with Alion as the price of Gramaxone is half
the price of Rely which is the alternative for many growers. The Gramaxone/Alion
mixture was compared to a Rely/Surflan/Princep mix. The price for each treatment
is listed below:
As you can see the price of Alion is $410/quart but the rate is so low that the per
acre cost is less than that of Surflan/Princep.
Both treatments were spray applied on 4/10/18 to Legacy, Duke and Chandler varieties.
The Legacy are about 3 years old while the Duke and Chandler are about 5 years old.
Rely/Surflan/Princep was used on both sides of row 58, and the east side of row 59
Alion/Gramaxone was used on both sides of row 60, and the west side of row 59
Photo: A) Alion/Gramaxone and B) Rely/Surflan/Princep on 6/1/18 (Photo taken from
Photo: A) Alion/Gramaxone and B) Rely/Surflan/Princep on 6/15/18
Dr. Burgos previously mentioned the potential prevention of Bermudagrass runners from
establishing where Alion had been sprayed. Pictured below is the Alion applied zone
where it seems to be free from Bermudagrass runners.
The effects of all pre-emergent herbicides wear off over time but the weed suppression
of the Alion treatment appeared to last longer than that of the Surflan/Princep treatment.
The need to weed eat and/or spot spray was reduced which offered a better harvest
experience and time savings.