real cost of weedkillers

The Real Cost of Weedkillers

The need to battle unwanted plant growth is real and one that will not be going away. Weeds interfere with the proper operation of equipment such as power lines or trains. They are unsightly components of beautiful landscaping, both Commercially and Residential, and invasive species can choke out desired plant growth as well.

It’s easy to understand the massive size of the herbicide market. According to Market Watch, the global herbicides market is expected to exceed more than $35 billion by 2022 with a compounded annual growth rate of more than 6 percent per year.

Both synthetic and organic herbicide products are widely available on the market today. This article explores the many factors that contribute to the overall cost of herbicide applications. As professional landscapers, city officials, and business owners make decisions about where to invest their money when it comes to weed control, it’s important to understand both the obvious and hidden costs of using herbicides.

Cost Per Application

Both synthetic and organic herbicide products are widely available on the market today. This article explores the many factors that contribute to the overall cost of herbicide applications. As professional landscapers, city officials, and business owners make decisions about where to invest their money when it comes to weed control, it’s important to understand both the obvious and hidden costs of using herbicides.

After you consider the flat-out price for similar products, you’ll want to take into consideration dilution rates for concentrated products. Both synthetic and natural herbicides will suggest a range of dilution rates, depending on the type and age of weed you’re trying to kill. If you are battling small, young weeds, you can use less product. Older, well-rooted invasion weeds can require double or triple the amount of herbicide to be effective. Evaluating the effective cost, or the price per gallon after the concentrate is mixed with water, is an important consideration in calculating true cost.

Complementary Products

Both synthetic and organic herbicide products are widely available on the market today. This article explores the many factors that contribute to the overall cost of herbicide applications. As professional landscapers, city officials, and business owners make decisions about where to invest their money when it comes to weed control, it’s important to understand both the obvious and hidden costs of using herbicides.

Frequency of Application Costs (Residual)

Herbicides vary in the length of time it takes them to kill a plant as well as how frequently a user must reapply the product in order to keep a particular area weed-free. Most organic products are contact herbicides, which means they kill only the parts of the weeds above the ground. With a root system still intact, plants treated with a contact herbicide usually grow back quickly and must be treated frequently.

Both synthetic and organic herbicide products are widely available on the market today. This article explores the many factors that contribute to the overall cost of herbicide applications. As professional landscapers, city officials, and business owners make decisions about where to invest their money when it comes to weed control, it’s important to understand both the obvious and hidden costs of using herbicides.

In addition, the type of weed, the size of the weed, temperature, amount of rainfall, humidity, and soil conditions all play a role in product effectiveness and the amount of time between applications.

Don’t forget to calculate the labor costs required to obtain, mix, and spray a particular herbicide. According to Recruiter.com, the average annual salary of an herbicide applicator is between $24,000 to $36,000, which translates to $12 to $18 per hour. 

The difference between treating your weeds once a week and once a quarter, depending on the herbicide you choose, can result in a significant drop in labor costs.

Risk of Lawsuit Costs

Although the above costs are black-and-white and somewhat easy to compare, it’s important to consider other factors when calculating the true and complete costs of using herbicides.

In March 2015, the World Health Organization reported that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Soon after this report was published, lawsuits against a major glyphosate manufacturer began. Currently, more than 42,000 lawsuits have already been filed. That number rises daily, and this major manufacturer has lost a few large cases already.

In September 2019, a lawsuit was filed in Texarkana federal court that seeks damages on behalf of California and Arkansas customers who bought glyphosate-based products from Lowe’s. In addition, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Home Depot in California.

It’s only a matter of time before companies who use glyphosate-based herbicides come under fire by employees, contractors, or customers. Even if the courts find businesses or organizations innocent of wrong-doing, they will still accumulate litigation costs. According to a survey of overall litigation costs for major companies, litigation costs, in general, continue to rise and consume an increasing percentage of corporate revenue. For example, the average outside litigation costs were $140 million for the 20 companies surveyed in 2008, representing an increase of 112 percent from $66 million eight years earlier.

Potentially Higher Insurance Costs

Although this is not yet a widespread issue, there are early signs of insurance issues when it comes to selling or using glyphosate-based products.

According to an article published in Lawn & Landscape in March 2019, Harrell’s, a professional garden supply store, discontinued carrying glyphosate-based products due to insurance issues. Harrell’s, a professional garden supply store, discontinued carrying glyphosate-based products due to insurance issues.

“Our insurance company was no longer willing to provide coverage for claims related to glyphosate due to the recent high-profile lawsuit and the many thousands of lawsuits since,” wrote Jack Harrell, CEO of Harrell’s, in a letter explaining the decision. “We sought coverage from other companies but could not buy adequate coverage for the risk we would be incurring. So we had no choice other than to notify our Harrell’s Team and customers that we would no longer offer products containing glyphosate as of March 1, 2019.”

Some golf course superintendents and landscapers have started reporting the inability to get insurance coverage for glyphosate-related suits on their properties as well. 

Crisis Communications Costs

With communication moving at lightning speed through the internet and social media channels, bad news spreads quickly. The cost of the negative publicity that spreads when an employee sues a company due to glyphosate exposure or when an environmental advocate decides to take on a local company that uses toxic herbicides can be significant.

Crisis communications and the resulting effect on a business’ reputation can be difficult to quantify. However, consider a few recent corporate crisis communications incidents.

According to PR Daily, Chipotle’s e.coli outbreaks caused the company’s stock price to drop a whopping 40 percent. Estimated costs related to the negative publicity totaled $8.3 million. And when a passenger was dragged off an overbooked United Airlines flight, the negative publicity spread quickly, costing the company an estimated $700 million.

Lost Opportunity to Stand Above Competition

Environmental sustainability continues to be an important topic in the media and on the minds of most modern consumers. According to the Harvard Business Review, consumers report on survey after survey that they want sustainable brands. In fact, one recent report showed that sustainable products had twice the growth of conventional counterparts. In the CGS 2019 US Consumer Sustainability Survey, more than two-thirds of Americans think about sustainability before a purchase and are willing to pay more to businesses that make this a priority.

Businesses and organizations that embrace naturally organic herbicides have an opportunity to promote their environmental responsibility to customers, prospects and the overall community. This positive publicity may give you a competitive advantage against similar companies that are not as environmentally conscious.

How EcoMIGHT Measures Up

EcoMIGHT’s W.O.W. (Whack Out Weeds!) is a non-selective, systemic, naturally organic herbicide. It carries the rare designation from the U.S. EPA that states it is “minimum risk exempt,” which means all its active and inactive ingredients are non-toxic and found in nature. When used as directed, it is safe for humans, animals, pollinators, aquatic life, groundwater, and soils.

 

This concentrated product is available in various sizes including gallon bottles and drums with discounts available. Its suggested dilution rate averages 6oz per gallon. Although the amount of time in between applications varies, many customers have reported that reapplication has not been necessary for 60-90 days. The EcoMIGHT weed and grass killer product also contains adjuvant and sticker properties, which means no complementary chemicals are required to boost its performance.

Because it is a safe, natural product, W.O.W. carries no risk of lawsuits or need for related insurance protection. EcoMIGHT customers do not need to worry about negative publicity related to their herbicide choice. In fact, many are promoting their use of a safe, naturally organic solution that is responsible and sustainable now and in the future.

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