Amicarbazone has recently emerged as a new selective broad spectrum herbicide. This chemical compound has proven itself successful with both grasses and broad leaf plants, first registered for use on corn in 2005. As of 2012, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture reported that it has been approved for use on golf courses, sod farms and Christmas tree farms as well as other conifer nurseries and residential turf areas.
This triazolinone herbicide can be applied either before or after emergence of weeds. A 2009 article in the journal Weed Science pointed to amicarbazone's ability to be absorbed both through leaves and roots as a major advantage of this chemical. Additionally, amicarbazone is translocated quickly after applied.
Chemically referred to as 4-amino-N-tert-butyl-4,5-dihydro-3-isopropyl-5-oxo-1H-1,2,4-triazole-1-carboxamide or C10H19N5O2, amicarbazone is also known by the commercial names Amicarbazone DF, Xonerate and Dinamic 70 WDG. Amicarbazone works as a photosystem II inhibitor, Weed Science explained.
"This new herbicide is a potent inhibitor of photosynthetic electron transport, inducing chlorophyll fluorescence and interrupting oxygen evolution ostensibly via binding to the Qb domain of photosystem II (PSII) in a manner similar to the triazines and the triazinones classes of herbicides," the journal wrote.
Although registered for a number of applications, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture explained that it expected this chemical compound to become a specialty substance at country clubs.
"Golf course superintendents are likely to welcome the addition of amicarbazone for control of this critical weed," the state agency explained. "Extension specialists believe that this product will be used in a niche market on greens, tees and less frequently on fairways. Furthermore, this product will probably be used on golf courses that are fastidiously maintained."
How to use amicarbazone
While Minnesota's Department of Agriculture may not think amicarbazone has as many uses as other new herbicides on the market. It is important for golf personnel, superintendents and herbicidal chemists, as well as anyone using this herbicide for crops such as corn to understand the potential dangers and importance of safety when working with this chemical compound.
Amicarbazone has been designed to take the place of fellow herbicide atrazine, which has been banned in the European Union and widely used in the U.S. and Australia. Atrazine has been found to contaminate drinking water. In a study from the Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of São Paulo, published in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry, researchers found that amicarbazone dissolved under "mildly acidic conditions."
This chemical should not be applied if the soil has a pH rating above 7.4. Amicarbazone also should be used in ground equipment including backpacks and hand equipment. It should not be used in an irrigation system and should not be spilled into ponds, rivers or other bodies of water the Minnesota Department of Agriculture explained.
When the EPA first approved the chemical in 2005, they did not complete a thorough analysis of many health effects of the chemical because it was unlikely to be used in a residential atmosphere. Eye irritation may occur from exposure, but more severe effects are unlikely. Those who are using amicarbazone should be most concerned with environmental pollution, which underscores the importance of standard testing when working with herbicides.