Kansas State University


K-State Turf and Landscape Blog

Tag: herbicide fate

Plant Injury from Herbicide Applications

(By Jared Hoyle; KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

Dandelion "twisting" from hormone-disrupting herbicide application
Dandelion “twisting” from hormone-disrupting herbicide application

Throughout the year I get calls, emails, texts and social media questions about herbicide damage. Most of the time it is damage to off-target plants and not the turfgrass.  This can happen due to many different factors including, but not limited to, the list below.

Accidental plant injury from herbicide applications can occur from:

  1. herbicide drift
  2. misapplication
  3. sprayer tank contamination
  4. residual herbicides

A really great resource by University of California is the Herbicide Symptom Search Engine.  You can search by mode of action, chemistry, herbicide, plant species, and symptoms.


Understanding the herbicide you are applying is most important.  The environmental fate of herbicides varies across KS and the United States due to many different factors. Some of the factors include:

  1. photochemical decomposition
  2. volatilization
  3. runoff/erosion
  4. adsorption by clay and organic matter
  5. leaching
  6. chemical decomposition
  7. microbial decomposition
  8. plant uptake

Understanding the herbicide you are going to apply and how it interacts with the environment will prevent non-target plant damage.

Pesticide applicators can use the Kansas DriftWatch website to find sensitive-crop locations in an effort to minimize the potential for damaging pesticide drift.


Always remember to READ THE LABEL for the correct rate, turfgrass tolerance, and specific instructions before application!!!

***Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for identification purposes and does not imply recommendation or endorsement, nor is criticism implied of similar products not mentioned by Kansas State University.***

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