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Beware of herbicide and additive telemarketers

Agriculture.com Staff 05/04/2009 @ 8:37am

Think twice before listening to a telemarketer pitch touting great buy on a herbicide.

Richard Zollinger, North Dakota Extension weeds specialist, notes telemarketers are out in full force, selling and touting high-priced herbicides containing very little active ingredient that do unbelievable things.

For example, reports in North Dakota have been made of a chemical company selling a product containing 2,4-D and bromacil (Hyvar) at a total concentration of 2% active ingredient for $90 per gallon plus $21 freight. By Zollinger's calculations, the grower would spend an equivalent of $3,961.76 for a gallon of 2,4-D LV4 and $2,610.33 for a gallon of Hyvar X_L.

Contrast this to the North Dakota average price for 2,4-D LV4 of $14 per gallon and $55 per gallon for Hyvar X_L (2 pounds per gallon).

Upshot: Telemarketers sell this herbicide for 47 times and 283 times the cost than if the grower were to buy the 2,4-D LV4 and Hyvar X_L from his or her dealer.

Telemarketers also make absurd claims. For instance, one application of a product called Triple Threat (three phenoxy herbicides at a total of 1 pound per gallon) was reported by the telemarketer to control leafy spurge for 5 years.

There are ways to stop these folks. In North Dakota, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture (701/328-1505) has indicated that with proper documentation of phone call conversation, they can take action against companies that try to rip off farmers of their hard-earned money. Here's information they recommend rounding up during the phone call:

  1. Name of product and telemarketer.
  2. EPA registration number of product.
  3. Formulation and concentration of active ingredients.
  4. Name, address, and phone number of company.
  5. All claims made by telemarketer.
  6. Any other useful information.

This information is also useful in other states for state agricultural departments to know. Another tip-off the product might not be legitimate is if it is registered in the state. If it is not registered, it is a good indication of the product being a "scam brew," says Zollinger.

Think twice before listening to a telemarketer pitch touting great buy on a herbicide.

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