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MSMA Alternatives for Residential Lawn Maintenance

Bug Lady posted this on Nov 7, 2016

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Monosodium methanearsonate, known in short as MSMA, is a commonly used herbicide in warm-season climates that had been effective in managing various common commercial and residential weeds since the 1960s. This popular product had long been used to manage infestations of invasive weeds like crabgrass, goosegrass, dallisgrass, bermuda grass and other common grasses on warm-season turf. MSMA is an organic arsenical herbicide and contains an organic form of the element arsenic. In its organic form, arsenic is largely nontoxic. However, in an inorganic state, the arsenic element can be highly toxic.
 

Problems arose for the herbicide when in 2006 it raised concerns by the EPA after water samples from two golf courses which were regularly treated with MSMA showed elevated levels of arsenic. The EPA would then respond by enacting a phase-out of all herbicides which contain arsenic from being used on agricultural and residential properties and imposed restrictions on their use to only be conducted on commercial properties that grow cotton and limited use on golf courses, sod farms and highway rights of way. The rulings are in effect until 2019 when the EPA will make a final ruling on future MSMA use.

Monosodium methanearsonate, known in short as MSMA, is a commonly used herbicide in warm-season climates that had been effective in managing various common commercial and residential weeds since the 1960s. This popular product had long been used to manage infestations of invasive weeds like crabgrass, goosegrass, dallisgrass, bermuda grass and other common grasses on warm-season turf. MSMA is an organic arsenical herbicide and contains an organic form of the element arsenic. In its organic form, arsenic is largely nontoxic. However, in an inorganic state, the arsenic element can be highly toxic.

 

Problems arose for the herbicide when in 2006 it raised concerns by the EPA after water samples from two golf courses which were regularly treated with MSMA showed elevated levels of arsenic. The EPA would then respond by enacting a phase-out of all herbicides which contain arsenic from being used on agricultural and residential properties and imposed restrictions on their use to only be conducted on commercial properties that grow cotton and limited use on golf courses, sod farms and highway rights of way. The rulings are in effect until 2019 when the EPA will make a final ruling on future MSMA use.

 

Currently, Solutions Pest and Lawn carries MSMA TARGET 6 PLUS HERBICIDE which can only be used on Cotton, Golf courses, Sod Farms, and highway rights of way for weed control in a very limited fashion. Here are the limitations:

 
  • Golf courses:

   One broadcast application allowed on newly constructed courses.

   Application on existing courses limited to spot treatment (100 sq ft per spot), not to exceed 25% of the total course in one year.

  • Sod farms:

   Two broadcast applications allowed per crop.

   25 foot buffer strip required for fields bordering permanent water bodies.

  • Highway Rights of Way:

   Two broadcast application allowed per years

   100-foot buffer strip will be required when spraying near permanent water bodies

 

For residential use, lawnowners are out of luck using MSMA which came in handy managing weeds that were often difficult to control using conventional herbicides. MSMA was a popular option for yard owners because it effectively controlled or suppressed a variety of these hard to manage weed including crabgrass, dallisgrass, goosegrass, kikuyugrass, green kyllinga, and yellow nutsedge.

 

There’s a large chance that MSMA will be completely outlawed by the EPA in 2019 but no matter the case, just because MSMA is disallowed for residential lawns, there are alternatives that provide good weed control and Solutions holds a number of those options that can make up for MSMA’s absence. Our experts recommend the following things to consider regarding those persistent and difficult to control weeds as a workaround to MSMA no longer being available.

 

1. Smart Lawn Maintenance Practices

The best defense against any invasive weed is a healthy, nutrient-rich, turf that can withstand and combat invaders. Implementing standard recommended practices like aeration, fertilitizing, mowing etc. can be a great way of preventing weeds from growing by improving soil conditions.

 

2. Use an effective Pre-emergent

Losing the ability to use an economical postemergence herbicide like MSMA makes it all the more important to use pre-emergent to fight off annual grassy weeds. When applied correctly, preemergence herbicides containing active ingredients such as prodiamine (Prodiamine 65 WDG (Barricade Herbicide))), oxadiazon (Oxadiazon 2G Pre-Emergent Herbicide (Ronstar), dithiopyr (Dithiopyr 40 WSB Pre Emergent Herbicide), can provide fantastic control of annual grassy weeds like crabgrass and goosegrass for extended periods of time. Other existing herbicides and some new herbicides also provide preemergence control of grassy weeds and some broadleaves. It is important that these herbicides be applied prior to growth of the weed seed and are watered in after treatment.

 

3. Use a post-emergent herbicide alternative

Solutions carries a variety of post emergent herbicides that can control a multitude of specific weeds. Whether it’s crab grass, nutsedge or broadleaf weeds, we have what you are looking for that can effectively take care of those invasive weeds. If you are stuck on what you should use, give us a call or email us at askapro@solutionsstores.com and we will help direct you toward a product that will fulfill your lawn and turf needs. There’s no need to yearn for the days of the past when MSMA was widely available. Check out our selection and you can find an effective residential alternative that can fill the void of MSMA.

 

Currently, Solutions Pest and Lawn carries MSMA TARGET 6 PLUS HERBICIDE which can only be used on Cotton, Golf courses, Sod Farms, and highway rights of way for weed control.

 

Sources: http://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=9603

http://www.greenindustrypros.com/article/10302136/replacing-msma-consider-your-weed-control-options

http://www.tennesseeturfgrassweeds.org/Lists/Fact%20Sheets/Attachments/21/w243%20UPDATED%20(25%20March%202014).pdf

 
Categories: Weeds
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