Death to Poa - ethofumesate (again)

m1shmoshMay 15, 2008


Preemergence and early postemergence herbicide agaist the dreaded poa annua (and some others). Bayer's Prograss is the poster child and commonly cited in research and literature. It is very expensive at some $450+ for a 2.5 gal bottle. However, other ethofumesate concentrates are available. UPI makes Poa Constrictor (gotta love the name!) and Bayer also has another sister product to Prograss called Nortron SC. There is supposedly a generic version made by AgValue, but I could not find a source for it.

Norton SC is primarily labeled for sugarbeets. However, if you look at the label (see link below), buried in the text is labeling for grass seed crops, namely ryegrass, tall fescue, bentgrass and KBG. Looking at the MSDS, it is apparent the formulation is more closely related to UPI's Poa Constrictor than it is to Prograss. A 2.5 gal bottle of Poa Constrictor or Nortron has 4lb of etho--that is in contrast to 1.5lb in Prograss. That means application rate is more than halfed--9/16 oz/1000 sq.ft. for KBG!!! When you factor in that 2.5 gal of Nortron is half the cost of 2.5 gal of Prograss, the cost savings is 4x!!! An additional benefit of Nortron or Poa Constrictor is that their products are non-flammable. Prograss is highly flammable (inert ingredients: petroleum distillates) and will need special shipping arrangements accordingly.

Some ethofumesate info is below:


Annual Grasses

Barnyardgrass (Echinochloa crus-galli)

Bluegrass, annual (Poa annua)

Canarygrass (Phalaris canariensis)

Crabgrass, large (Digitaria sanguinalis)

Crabgrass, smooth (Digitaria ischaemum)

Foxtail, green (Setaria viridis)

Foxtail, yellow (Setaria glauca)

Annual Broadleaves

Burclover (Medicago sp.)

Chickweed, common (Stellaria media)

Purslane, common (Portulaca oleracea)

Pigweed, redroot (Amaranthus retroflexus)

-will also reduce competition from:

Nutsedge, purple (Cyperus rotundus)

Nutsedge, yellow (Cyperus esculentus)


Annual Grasses

Bluegrass, annual (Poa annua)

Annual Broadleaves

Chickweed, common (Stellaria media)

Clover, white (Trifolium repens)


Annual Grasses

Crabgrass, large (Digitaria sanguinalis)

Crabgrass, smooth (Digitaria ischaemum

* do NOT apply to zoysia, hard/fine fescues *

-apply at the earliest possible weed growth stage--no later than the 4-leaf stage

-Spring and Fall - apply during maximum weed germination

-Fall - end as close to the first killing freeze as possible

-KBG is most sensitive so application rates are lowered. Fall applications may see reduced turf quality the following spring. Nortron recommends application on kbg at least 12 months old. Poa Constrictor recommends at least 8 weeks after emergence.

-KBG cultivars known to be tolerant: Adelphi, American, Aspen, Asset,Challenger, Classic, Emundi, Huntsville, Georgetown, Glade, Haga,Julic, Liberty, Merit, Midnight, Monopoly, Mystic, Parade, Rugby,Sydsport, Touchdown. Also: Moonlight (according to this paper)

-KBG *DO NOT APPLY* to: Explorer,Limousine, Northstar, RAN I and Total Eclipse

-PR cultivars tolerant: Acclaim, Blazer, Dasker, Derby, Elka,Fiesta, Goalie, Hunter, Linn, Loretta, Manhattan II, Palmer, Pennfine,Regal, Yorktown

-TTTF tolerant: America, Arid, Mustang

-Other cultivars not listed should be spot tested for phytotoxicity.

-reported results are mixed. Some say when used alone, ethofumesate is of little benefit. Other claim nearly complete control after 2 years.

-Legality: Nortron is labeled for commercial sod farms in Ca, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington only. For sugar beets, garden beets, onions, garlic, shallots--all states. Poa Constrictor and Prograss are labelled for sod farms in all states but Arizona. That said, my sugar beet garden has a ton of poa I need to get control.


Nortron SC (Bayer)

Prograss (Bayer)

Poa Constrictor (UPI)

This is where I got my Nortron SC from.

Morris Grain Company

This late in spring may be too late for application as most poa is mature but I am getting ready for war this fall. This fall, I personally will be using Dimension pre-emergence (August 1, October 1) and using ethofumesate for selective spot spraying only (because of desirable turf susceptibility to some extent). I will probably do some test treatments though. DEATH TO POA!

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I should have added that a single ethofumesate treatment is not effective. 2-3 applications spaced by 3-4 weeks is what is recommended. Please refer to product labels that I linked above.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 10:57AM
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Hey Mlshmosh

What type of results have you had? How does it compare to Certainty? Any pictures of the stuff in action?

Thanks for the Info!!!!!


OOPS! Forgot to say "DEATH TO POA"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 5:24PM
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I only just received the stuff today. I am in no rush to use it as it is intended for battle in fall. That said, I did see some new poa seedlings that are apparently breaking through my late March Dimension--perhaps it is time for another. Once he upcomming few days of rain is over, I'll give etho a try. Luckily, I have Midnight/Moonlight KBG so I should be safe.

Other info:
-you should not store the product below 34*F.
-you should not keep product in sprayer after use--wash and rinse sprayer after each use. why?

BTW, several areas I sprayed Certainty are now dead--and I am not talking just the poa! It is definitely not benign to kbg--perhaps I oversprayed?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 6:17PM
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Yea , I noticed that too with areas treated with Certainty are brown now.....I'm hoping this weeks rain with start the roots of my KGB spreading to green the stuff up. After all this rain we should compare pictures......

By the way M1shmosh where are you from? I'm from SW Ohio here (a few miles south of Dayton)

Continued Death to PIA Grass!!!!!


    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 7:55PM
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"It is very expensive at some $450+ for a 2.5 gal bottle. "

Screw that. I'd rather pull by hand or pay some neighborhood kids to do it.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 8:07PM
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Meleca, I am in the greater Cleveland area. My front lawn is looking great (now 3 years old). My back is poorly graded and has a ton of grassy weeds that I have not been able to control. In any case, I can send you some Nortron at cost if you want to try it out for yourself. I think 250cc will be plenty--for trial purposes and probably would last you a couple of years. If my math is right, that will probably be $15 shipped. I know the product is registered in Ohio, so I won't be getting into trouble.

Buzzsaw, it's not that it's THAT expensive. 2.5 gal will treat quite a few acres. We homeowners are mainly spot treating maybe a few hundred square ft of badly affected area. It's more the packaging size than the cost.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 9:08PM
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m1shmosh, im having a major poa problem with newly seeded lawn, at day 60. do you think Norton would work to save my lawn ?

    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 11:03AM
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So it has been a few years- how did you all fare? Did it take a few years to control or is it still a problem? I am in MI and searching for answers as I think my KGB lawn is almost completely Annua in the back yard now. It is nice, dense and if there is KBG left from our sod, it is blended in. The only reason I can tell I have the Poa is the seed heads. How can I get some Nortron? I don't see it for sale anywhere.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 11:57PM
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Particularly with the use of pre-emergent, my poa annua problems have been greatly reduced. I only had to hand remove about 8-10 small clusters. I am still surveying the lawn almost every week for any more than might crop up but over a period of years, you definitely can get it under control.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 10:37PM
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A lot of the links on this webpage are no longer valid. Trying to find ethofumesate around the Northwest is tough, and the Prograss is sold in large, farm-oriented expensive quantities when I do find some. Would be nice if Bayer or someone would make the product available to the homeowner market, because there is a real void of other solutions to this out-of-control perennial ryegrass lawn pyranah.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 7:53PM
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Prograss is definitely expensive. Note that using the Ag version of ethofumesate for residential lawns is unlawful. In any case, at least one study conducted in the NW had woeful results for Prograss alone (see link). I am guess the mild winters is not conducive to winter kill. Better is the use of Tenacity, which thankfully is now labelled for residential lawns and comes in palatable "acre" bottles for about $50. Even better would be the tankmix of Prograss and Tenacity in the fall.

Here is a link that might be useful: WSU study

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 9:04PM
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