Rice Farming

Northern Jointvetch

Biological herbicide targets
a growing problem weed


The rice herbicide program has changed dramatically with the Clearfield rice system, which is a great system for controlling red rice and other weeds. However, it is weak on northern jointvetch.

LockDown biological herbicide, an all natural post-emergent weed management tool, complements the Clearfield system by providing safe control of a growing problem weed – northern jointvetch – also known as curly indigo.

LockDown, manufactured by Natural Industries, provides an excellent option for growers who prefer not using a mid-season herbicide that could cause crop injury if the application timing is not proper.

“The active ingredient in LockDown was sold under the name Collego by the Upjohn Company in the 80s and 90s,” says Matt Kowalski, president of Natural Industries. “It was a popular and extremely effective product. However, producers got away from it as northern jointvetch problems diminished because of the herbicide program used during that time.

“But, the weed is becoming more pronounced with the expanding acreage in the Clearfield rice system,” Kowalski adds. “LockDown complements other herbicides, such as Newpath and Blazer, that do not control northern jointvetch.”

Kowalski says another benefit of the biological herbicide is that there is no drift issue.

“LockDown is host-specific and only targets northern jointvetch,” he explains.

“It does not harm any other plant life, including rice or nearby crops, such as soybeans.”

Post-emergence herbicide
LockDown is a post-emergence herbicide that can be sprayed via aerial application. It can be applied mid- and late season when most chemicals cannot be sprayed. It can also be applied as an early application just prior to flooding along with other herbicides.

“This unique product can work on the late stage northern jointvetch where the plants are large, but it also can be used right at pre-flood stage where growers might be applying early post-emergence herbicides like Newpath and Blazer,” Kowalski says. “We can tankmix with these herbicides that do not control northern jointvetch. Because the active ingredient is a living organism, it will penetrate the rice canopy more thoroughly than conventional herbicides.

“Additionally, Natural Industries is an established company in biological agricultural products. With our innovative manufacturing facilities, we will ensure a consistent LockDown supply every year.”

LockDown is university- and grower-tested with 30 years of positive support research. The product was developed through colla-borative work between the University of Arkansas and the USDA nearly 30 years ago.

Arkansas consultant weighs in
Arkansas rice consultant Jason McGee worked with the biological herbicide in the ’90s for controlling northern jointvetch, which can cause dockage on rice quality. He has used LockDown for the last two seasons for controlling the weed and for the crop safety benefit for soybeans.

“The product works very well for seed suppression, and it will work very well for controlling the indigo plants themselves if the application is made early enough,” McGee says. “We found the best timing for the LockDown treatment to go out is about the same time you’re applying mid-season nitrogen to rice or just shortly thereafter.

“If you wait and let the indigo plants blow out of the canopy of the rice crop, then that’s pretty big indigo to control. LockDown will do a good job of suppressing the seed set on large indigo plants, but you might not kill the plant. However, the mid-season application will actually kill the plant.”

Additionally, crop safety for soybeans is a major concern for McGee and his growers.

“That’s another thing that I like about LockDown,” he says. “You can’t hurt any non-target crop with the product.”

Kowalski adds that their biological products, like LockDown are environmentally friendly, safe for workers, and the re-entry and pre-harvest intervals are zero. To learn more, visit www.naturalindustries.com or call (888) 261-4731.

Natural Industries provided information for this article.