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FMC unveils landmark herbicide

Those who thought there would only be a handful of chemical companies left by now miscalculated. FMC Corp. began a transition from a company just selling insecticides to a company selling herbicides with Authority, and then Cadet, five years ago.

FMC recently unveiled what it hopes will become its flagship herbicide. While it’s been under development for years, the company believes now’s the time to introduce it to farmers and dealers.

Key Points

New chemistry for corn, soybean weed control moves closer to market.

FMC hopes for full launch of Anthem by 2013.

Effective, flexible two-crop herbicide enhances FMC’s position in industry.


“We’re really excited about what Anthem can do for farmers and for our company,” says Bob Hooten of FMC. “There are many good pre- and early post-herbicides on the market, but this one controls a few more weeds and lasts longer. That will make it very flexible.”

Both corn, soybeans

The beauty of Anthem is that it can be applied in corn and soybeans either preemergence or early post, and is designed to complement a Roundup Ready or LibertyLink system. FMC will submit Anthem and Anthem ATZ for registration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency soon. Anthem ATZ contains atrazine and is for corn only.

Anthem is very good on grasses, but it’s not just a grass herbicide, Hooten insists. It also picks up a number of broadleaf weeds, and provides control or suppression of some of the more common escapes, including suppression of morningglory.

Although the goal is to receive registration by spring of 2012, FMC officials realize that would mean tricky timing for a 2012 launch. They expect full launch of Anthem and Anthem ATZ in 2013. If EPA approval comes in time for the 2012 season, look for plots on farms in a number of locations across the Corn Belt and the South. One attribute for Southern growers is that the new herbicide helps pick up Palmer amaranth, which is quickly becoming public enemy No. 1 in southern reaches of the Corn Belt.

The company has some 14 research plots this summer. Hooten and others hope to learn more about the right rate and most economical rate to recommend on the product label for various soils. Soil pH does not affect it. However, a slight change in rate can make the difference between picking up some of the tougher weeds and not picking them up.

New formulation

One of the biggest benefits Hooten likes to talk about, even before Anthem’s ability to control weeds, is its new formulation. It’s a liquid, encapsulated formulation, representing new technology. He insists that it can be mixed with a variety of products, including liquid nitrogen, and it will not cause settling out or gumming up of lines.

The fact that the product provides full-season residual control of many weeds means it will be a more flexible tool in a farmer’s toolkit, Hooten says. The ability to add atrazine through Anthem ATZ for corn will help in certain situations where atrazine can provide a little extra punch against problem weeds.

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Exciting news: Anthem herbicide, not yet approved by U.S. EPA, showed promising results in these plots at a private research farm near Noblesville.

This article published in the August, 2011 edition of INDIANA PRAIRIE FARMER.

All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2011.