Sulfentrazone is a phenyl triazolinone herbicide used for control of certain broadleaf and grass weed species. Sulfentrazone persists in soil and has residual activity beyond the season of application. A laboratory bioassay was developed for the detection of sulfentrazone in soil using root and shoot response of several crops. Shoot length inhibition of sugar beet was found to be the most sensitive and reproducible parameter for measurement of soil-incorporated sulfentrazone. The sugar beet bioassay was then used to examine the effect of soil properties on sulfentrazone phytotoxicity using 10 different Canadian prairie soils. Concentrations corresponding to 50% inhibition (I50 values) were obtained from the dose–response curves constructed for the soils. Sulfentrazone phytotoxicity was strongly correlated to the percentage organic carbon (P = 0.01) and also to percentage clay content (P = 0.05), whereas correlation with soil pH was nonsignificant (P = 0.21). Because sulfentrazone phytotoxicity was found to be soil dependent, the efficacy of sulfentrazone for weed control and sulfentrazone potential carryover injury will vary with soil type in the Canadian prairies.
Nomenclature: Sulfentrazone, N-[2,4-dichloro-5-[4-(difluoromethyl)-4,5-dihydro-3-methyl-5-oxo-1H-1,2,4-triazol-1-yl]phenyl]methanesulfonamide; sugar beet, Beta vulgaris L. ‘Beta 1385’.