Sugarbeet herbicides disappearing from the marketplace

Growers may lose important herbicides for red beets and spinach.

The recent adoption of glyphosate tolerant sugar beets by most beet growers has resulted in the decline of demand for traditional sugarbeet herbicides, such as Betanex (desmedipham), Betamix (desmedipham and phenmedipham), Progress (desmedipham, phenmedipham, and ethofumesate), Nortron (ethofumesate), Spin-Aid (phenmedipham), and Pyramin (pyrazon). Consequently, manufacturers and marketers have decided to stop marketing several of these herbicides.

Pyramin was very difficult to find this past spring and supplies appear to be exhausted. Neither Arysta, the most recent marketer, nor BASF, which holds the patent and master label, are marketing Pyramin currently.

Most of the other sugarbeet herbicides were marketed by Bayer in recent years. Generic sugarbeet herbicides were marketed by UPI. Both companies plan to reduce or eliminate the production and sale of several of these herbicides. Only Nortron (ethofumesate) is still being manufactured, although it was in short supply this spring. Norton is labeled for use on several vegetable crops and other new labels are under development, so Bayer plans to maintain production. Spin-Aid is a fairly broad-spectrum postemergence herbicide for broadleaf control in spinach and red beets.

Red beet and spinach growers may want to buy up existing supplies of these herbicides if they use them in their herbicide programs. We hope that some company will manufacture and market these important herbicides in the future.

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