Turf Talk
Our Turf Talk blog gives you the professional advice you need to care for your lawn.

What you need to know about herbicides?

What is a herbicide?

A herbicide is any chemical specifically designed to kill weeds. At Green Blade, we use a herbicide called PAR III.

How does PAR III work?

PAR III is formulated to control hard-to-kill broadleaf weeds in lawns, golf courses, parks and other areas. Professional lawn care experts use PAR III to provide safe, effective weed control in all parts of Canada under a variety of turf growing conditions. When PAR III is used according to the label and in a responsible and safe manner, PAR III provides effective weed control without posing a danger to humans, pets, or the environment.

PAR III contains three active ingredients – 2,4-d, mecoprop, and dicamba, mixed proportionately to control the widest range of weeds. PAR III is a water-based product. Any odour from PAR III is harmless and normally disappears once the spray has dried. The active ingredients in PAR III are readily absorbed by the weed and move systemically throughout the weed’s system effectively starving the roots and causing all parts of the weed to die. The broadleaf weeds are selectively controlled without harm to the lawn.

PAR III in the air

Proper application eliminates drift and PAR III will not move off target due to temperature volatility.

PAR III in the soil

Once PAR III is thoroughly dried on the plant, it is virtually impossible to rub off. In the weeds PAR III is degraded as they die. The microbes in the soil continue the process as the weeds are converted into organic matter. Grass plants break the product down into natural non-toxic materials. Clippings from treated grass can be composted.

PAR III in water

Virtually all spray applications lands on the weeds and grass thatch. The very small amount of PAR III that lands directly on the soil is degraded biologically. It is degraded into water, carbon dioxide, and humus. This process generally takes less than 30 days in the presence of warmth and moisture. PAR III does not leach into the subsoil.

Are pesticides safe? Who regulates pesticides in Canada?

Pesticides are among the safest man-made products in use in Canada today. Pesticides are designed to affect specific pests in an extremely specific manner.

Before any product can be marketed in Canada, it must be rigorously tested by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) to meet the world’s strictest safety standards. Over 120 different tests and studies are performed not just once, but repeatedly, on each and every ingredient and/or combination of ingredients that go into any one product. The process requires a minimum of eight to ten years of research, testing, and study that normally costs the manufacturer $50-$100 million dollars. The PMRA is regarded as having one of the most stringent regulatory systems in the world.

The PMRA requires that any product to be sold for use in Canada must demonstrate absolutely no unacceptable risk whatsoever to the health of humans including adults, children, infants, and even the developing fetus, as well as pets, wildlife in the air, on land, or in an aquatic environment. The PMRA also requires that every pesticide registered for use in Canada be re-evaluated again every five years.

The primary ingredient in PAR III, and the most commonly used pesticide in the world is 2,4-d. 2-4d is the most heavily studied chemical on earth. It has been studied and approved for use in every country in the world that has the means to do so.

Why do we need pesticides?

Pesticides were developed to protect the health of people and protect the value of our homes and the environment. A city is an unnatural entity. Thus, unnatural explosions of pest problems occur due to our close community and proximity to each other. Often, when one child at school gets sick, so do many others in the same class, and other siblings at home as well. Like medicines, pesticides were developed to keep pest populations balanced and in check and should only be used to rebalance these conditions. Most people take pesticides for granted, not even noticing how pesticides are protecting their health and the environment everyday around them. Pesticides maintain the production, safety and quality of our food, prevent diseases like malaria and West Nile virus, reduce exposure to allergens, preserve your landscape, protect buildings, reduce pollution, reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, increase your property value, and the list goes on. Did you know that there are pesticides in your shampoo, your carpets, all of the wood in your home has been treated with a pesticide, in all the paint in your house, most of your personal hygiene products, in flea and tick collars for your pets, and even in your pool (algaecides)? You are completely surrounded by pesticides that you use every day without realizing the limitless benefits they serve. Pesticides are invaluable tools and should be appreciated rather than feared.

Where can I get additional information?

The lawn care and golf course industries are extremely knowledgeable about pesticides and their proper use. We use pesticides prudently. After all, we use them every day. We use them on our own lawns. We live, work, and play on our lawns with our own children, and we eat and drink the same food and water as all other Canadians.

For more information on the safety of pesticides, you may also contact the following organizations:

Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA)
www.hc-sc.gc.ca/pmra-arla or Google the key words
“PMRA 2,4-d lawn and turf”

United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
www.epa.gov/oppsrrdl/reregistration/24d/ or
Google key words “epa 2,4-d reregistration”

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