Volatility and drift are problems commonly associated with auxin-like herbicides. Field and greenhouse studies were conducted at Texas A & M University to develop a method of quantifying volatility and subsequent off-target movement of 2,4-D, dicamba, and triclopyr. Rate–response curves were established by applying reduced rates ranging from 4 × 10−1 to 1 × 10−5 times the normal use rates of the herbicides to cotton and soybean and recording injury for 14 d after treatment (DAT) using a rating scale designed to quantify auxin-like herbicide injury. Injury from herbicide volatility was then produced on additional cotton and soybean plants through exposure to vapors of the dimethylamine salt of 2,4-D, diglycolamine salt of dicamba, and butoxyethyl ester of triclopyr using air chambers inside a greenhouse and volatility plots in the field. Injury resulting from this exposure was evaluated for 14 d using the same injury-evaluation scale that was used to produce the rate–response curves. Volatility-injury data were then applied to the rate–response curves so that herbicide rates corresponding with observed injury could be calculated. Using this method, herbicide volatility rates estimated from greenhouse-cotton injury were determined to be 3.0 × 10−3, 1.0 × 10−3, and 4.9 × 10−2 times the use rates of 2,4-D, dicamba, and triclopyr, respectively. Greenhouse-grown soybean developed injury consistent with 1.4 × 10−2, 1.0 × 10−3, and 2.5 × 10−2 times the normal use rate of 2,4-D, dicamba, and triclopyr, respectively. Under field conditions, cotton developed injury symptoms that were consistent with 4.0 × 10−3, 2.0 × 10−3, and 1.25 × 10−1 times the recommended use rates of 2,4-D, dicamba, and triclopyr, respectively. Field soybean displayed injury symptomology concordant with 1.6 × 10−1, 1.0 × 10−2, and 1.1 × 10−1 times the normal use rates of 2,4-D, dicamba, and triclopyr, respectively. This procedure provided herbicide volatility rate estimates that were consistent with rates and injury from the rate–response injury curves. Additional research is needed to ascertain its usefulness in determining long-term effects of drift injury on crop variables such as yield.
Nomenclature: 2,4-D, dicamba, triclopyr, cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L. ‘Delta Pine 50’, #3 GOSHI, soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merr. ‘Delta Pine 415’, # GLYMA.
Additional index words: Injury modeling, plant injury, rate of exposure.
Abbreviations: BEE, butoxyethyl ester; DAT, days after treatment; DGA, diglycolamine; DMA, dimethylamine; WAE, weeks after emergence.