Renewable Farming

Years of research on an environment-friendly burndown herbicide are finally paying off

It took Howard Vlieger and his Australian researchers six years to refine an environmentally friendly burndown herbicide, but it’s here. Contact Organics based in Australia manufactures the two-part herbicide. Studentofthesoil Howard Vlieger of Maurice, IA is the managing director of Contact Organics USA.

September 27, 2021 The firm’s products in Australia are labeled HomeSafe for use around home and family; LocalSafe for community and schools, and FarmSafe for larger acreages dependent on healthy soils. (In the USA, the product label is Weed Terminator 20. The U.S EPA does not allow the use of “safe” in a pesticide label in America.)

The active ingredient is acetic acid. A proprietary surfactant/penetrant labeled Boost enhances coverage and kill power. Even the largest weeds wilt and begin dying from desiccation within hours if they’re totally coated with the blended product. 

The product lineup is widely sold in Australia.

As early as 2016, Renewable Farming LLC cooperated in field trials with Howard and the Australian developers, searching for the most effective surfactant. We learned that WakeUP Summer worked well to intensify acetic acid’s leaf desiccation power. The Aussie chemists formulated their own surfactant, Boost, using plant-based alcohols and oils, plus other proprietary ingredients. In a brief video, Howard explains how to tank-mix Boost and the acetic acid formulation.

A dozen years ago, we promoted WakeUP to strengthen killing power of herbicides like glyphosate. As our aversion to GMOs and related weedkillers grew, we chose to  focus our WakeUP message on amplifying yield response to nutrients and biologicals applied as foliars or in-furrow. 

Howard is currently traveling throughout the USA, demonstrating these products and developing sales outlets. One important advocate of organic and non-GMO crops, Zen Honeycutt, founder of Moms Across America, is offering Weed Terminator 20 to members and friends. Here’s a link to the Contact Organics product page on the Moms site.

Today, Howard sent his clients and friends this e-mail message:

I wanted to send a brief email with some exciting news.

First, we have updated the instruction video on our website. We have received very positive feedback on the original video and we wanted to tweak it slightly to make it better. Please share with all interested parties.

 We have received some very exciting feedback from customers on the successes with our non-toxic herbicide products, Weed Terminator (WT) 20 & Boost.

There is strong anecdotal evidence that the WT 20 & Boost is having an adverse effect on weed seed viability of partially and or fully matured weed seeds that have been sprayed.

The evidence of this is explained in the PDF (portable document file) you can download from this link.

We have achieved success with another invasive species in the Western states. Goathead is an extremely challenging weed that causes numerous problems. Dr. Huber arranged for us to do a spray trial demonstration in Nampa, Idaho. The goathead was showing significant deterioration in only 5 hours after application. The seeds on the treated plants appear distorted when compared to the untreated seeds. Dr. Huber gathered seeds from each, and we will be doing a germ test to see what effect the WT 20 and Boost may have had.

Last but not least. Fall is the best time of year to spray perennial weed species. We have a few examples of success of this in the attached PDF. 

THANK YOU for your time and attention and please let us know if you have any questions!


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