Herbicides for sainfoin

We continue to get quite a few questions about weed control in sainfoin. Unfortunately, there are very few herbicide options currently registered for use in sainfoin (only 6 different active ingredients). We are investigating some additional herbicides in ongoing research trials. Although several herbicides look promising in our trials, these potential options will not be registered in time for the 2013 growing season (in fact, it is a distinct possibility they never will be). The following table lists currently registered herbicides for sainfoin in Wyoming. There are no herbicides that we can use for broadleaf weed control in actively growing sainfoin. Glyphosate and paraquat can be applied to control any green, actively growing weeds prior to sainfoin green-up, but the application window is very narrow, especially if targeting summer annual weeds. Winter annual weeds like some mustards and downy brome (cheatgrass) may be controlled well with dormant applications. Metribuzin might provide limited residual weed control at higher application rates, but must also be applied when the sainfoin is dormant. Metribuzin also has a 28 day pre-harvest interval, which means you cannot cut or graze the sainfoin until at least 28 days after application.

Herbicides registered for use on sainfoin in Wyoming
Herbicide Trade name(s) Comments
clethodim Select, Arrow, Intensity, Section, Shadow, Tapout, Volunteer For postemergence grass control. 15 day pre-harvest interval.
sethoxydim Poast, Poast Plus For postemergence grass control. 14 day pre-harvest interval.
pronamide Kerb Fall or winter applications for preemergence weed control in established sainfoin. Applications must be made before soil freeze up.
paraquat Gramoxone, Firestorm, Para-Shot, Parazone Pre-Plant or dormant applications for control of emerged weeds. 60 day pre-harvest interval.
metribuzin Dimetric, Glory, Metri, Metribuzin, Tricor Dormant applications for emerged and preemergence weed control. Only for use in established sainfoin (12 months after seeding). 28 day pre-harvest interval.
glyphosate Roundup Powermax, Touchdown, Alecto, Buccaneer, Cornerstone, Credit Xtreme, Duramax, Durango, Gly Star, Glyphomax, Honcho, Makaze, Mad Dog Plus, Rapidfire, Wise Up Plus, others Dormant or preemergence burndown applications for emerged weeds only. DO NOT APPLY TO ACTIVELY GROWING CROP. SEVERE CROP INJURY MAY RESULT.


    1. Hi Jimbo,
      As far as I know, there are no 2,4-DB products labeled for use in sainfoin. This was surprising to me as well, since Butyrac (and other 2,4-DB products) are registered for many other legumes (including alfalfa and birdsfoot trefoil). We applied 2,4-DB in several of our research trials, and saw substantial sainfoin injury. Depending on the timing of application, we observed between 5 to 20% yield loss. Seedling sainfoin was particularly susceptible, with a 90% forage yield reduction in the first cutting after herbicide application. Established sainfoin was much more tolerant, but injury was still evident. It is possible that there is a brand of 2,4-DB that is registered for established sainfoin that I’m not aware of. If you know of a 2,4-DB product that lists sainfoin on the label, I would be very interested to know which one. None have come up in my searches. Thanks again for the question. -AK

  1. Have there been any trials or experience with Raptor hrebicide postemergence on seedling Sanfoin?


    1. Hi Ethan, We have looked at several herbicides, including Raptor (imazamox) and Pursuit (imazethapyr). Both imazamox and imazethapyr have shown great promise for use in sainfoin. BASF, the company that makes both herbicides, has shown some interest in getting sainfoin added to at least one of these product labels. I don’t have a time frame, but perhaps we will eventually see at least one of these products registered for use in seedling and established sainfoin. Keep your fingers crossed. -AK

      1. thank you for your reply. have there been any trials done with either of these chemicals on new seeding sanfoin. If so, are the results accessible. thank you

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