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Weed Killer sales have a record year in 2008

Ready to Use Weed KillersSelecting the correct chemical for the job is so important for the desired results. Weed Killers and other garden chemicals are often 'cherry picked' off the Garden Centre or DIY Warehouse retail shelf after an often confused evaluaion and selection process as a result of poor customer education. With Garden Pesticides receiving such poor Press over the past few years the news that weed killer sales have had a great year in 2008, suprises me.

Matthew Appleby of Horticulture Week Magazine reports this week that ready to use weed killers drove the UK garden chemicals market in 2008, GfK research has found.

Despite the unpleasant weather conditions and general lack of summer sunshine GfK Retail and Technology said the garden chemicals market grew by nearly 11% in market value during 2008.

Ready to Use pesticide products are normally hand help applicators where the overall packet contains Pesticide active ingredient plus a carrier, normally water or a dry mineral material. They are easy to use, turn the nozzle to on, point and apply in action and take out confusion in mixing some of the concentrate with water ahead of application. They are also a lot safer for the user with minimal chance of contamination. The only problem is that the actual amount of percentage of active ingredient in the Ready to Use pack can be incredibly low which means that results can be poor also with the user putting the poor results down to 'user error'.

Take a Glyphosate product such as Roundup or Tumbleweed - popular total weed control of most non woody vegetation including grasses. Ready to Use packs will contain in the region only 2% active ingredient compared to Round Up Ultra which contains 360 Grams per Litre - stronger and equally more effective results but with the added hassle of having to apply the Roundup Ultra as a foliar spray, having mixed the required amount of concentrate in the appropriate amount of water first and applied via a Knapsack or watering can fitted with a rose. The stronger product will also cost more per unit of sale but the overall cost per single square metre of weed control will be more cost effective.

I found an interesting article from Kimm Kminer who is an Author on where she talks about her problems with a Ready to Use Roundup pack. She concludes that 'My grass is smarter than the control product or am I missing something?'

GfK said the growth was impressive considering the general declines seen in the retail sector during 2008. Researcher Eva Vareckova said:

"If we consider that volumes also grew at more than 6% then this growth has not come about through the heavy discounting, designed to lure consumers to store, seen in many other sectors and industries."

Vareckova added: "Looking at the split between weed killers on one hand and pest and disease products on the other, it is clear that the general poor summer weather was great for the weed killers market, as weeds flourished in the mild wet conditions. These same conditions, however, restricted the traditional summer influx of flying and crawling pests.

GfK said the weed killers market, which grew by over £8 million, was primarily led by the greater performance of ready to use products, and within this RTU category, the performance of fast acting products.

The ready to use market in 2008 accounted for 54% of the total garden chemicals market up 31% on the year before. Concentrate account for 46% of the total market, up 8% on year before.

Cold weather and frequent rainfall last summer saw sales suffer within the flying and crawling categories. Outside of this area the slug killing category continued to perform well, sales growing by 9% in value.

In summary, sales in the garden chemicals market increased across all channels for 2008 with garden centres putting in the strongest performance.

I think that the reason why Ready to Use packs are so popular is that Consumers can never find a staff member with an ounce of knowledge of the pesticides they actually sell in their retail outlet, to ask a question about them, just prior to purchase. To add conviction to this comment, last autumn whilst in a well known DIY outlet, there was a point of sale display by the tills, featuring a well known brand of Glyphosate based total weed killer that had a special 'end of season' price offer on the display. The pricing was fine, very attractive. What appalled me was that the sign said 'Garden Fertiliser' and not 'Garden Weed Killer'. I quickly went off in search of The Manager to point out what could be a costly liability issue, and was met with an individual who could not see the error until I pointed it out to him. To be fair, he did give me a £10 voucher for my input that is not the point. How could his staff advise consumers when he did not have the knowledge himself or his staff member responsible for merchandising displays either r where they following instructions? If they had simply read the product label, all would have been revealed!

Should you want some advice on which total weed killer to use where, take a look at an earlier post - Getting Weed Free

You will also be able to view Weed Control articles and news on Weed Free

Equally, should you want us to write and publish an article on a particular weed control topic, then lwt us know by adding a comment to the post.

Always read the Product Label - Use Pesticides Safely.


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