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Phytotoxicity is a significant factor in the selection of solvents or oils for a pesticide formulation. This project was undertaken to develop relative data on the phytotoxicity of 20 solvents and oils for four major agricultural crops: corn, soybeans, wheat, and cotton. The solvents and oils were applied neat at a 32.7-L/ha (3.5-gal/acre) rate in a spray booth to approximately two-week-old postemergent plants grown in a greenhouse.
All the solvents and oils were rated by crop for relative phytotoxicity and assigned a relative rating. None of the plants died. No solvent or oil was found to be significantly more phytotoxic than the “industry standard” xylene range aromatic solvent, and the paraffinic and narrow-cut aliphatic solvents were observed to be nonphytotoxic at the 32.7-L/ha rate. Phytotoxicity was shown to be related to polarity, solvency, and the aromatics content of hydrocarbons. Surface tension was seen to be a contributing factor. Volatility did not show up as a major phytotoxicity determinant. The two grasses were seen to be more resistant to solvent-induced phytotoxicity than the two broadleafs.
phytotoxicity, pesticides, agricultural chemicals, oils, solvents, pendimethalin, polarity, volatility, surface tension, corn, wheat, cotton, soybeans
Senior staff engineer, Exxon Chemical Co., Baytown, TX
Senior technical sales representative, Exxon Chemical Co., Des Plaines, IL