There are many reasons 2,4-D is one of the most widely used herbicides worldwide protecting agricultural crops, turf grass and environmentally sensitive areas from invasive and noxious weeds. After 70 years on the market there are over 1,500 products that have 2,4–D registered as the active ingredient because of its effectiveness and some of the fewest resistances of any herbicide.
2,4-D controls weeds in a safe and effective manner at a low cost. This translates to lower prices on products made from crops such as wheat, rice, oats and corn as well as dozens of fruits and vegetables. 2,4-D also provides a healthier grazing environment, improving herd health and helps ranchers lower feed costs and feed more cattle.
As nutritionists continue to encourage diets to include a wider variety of fruits and vegetables, 2,4-D helps keep prices on these foods affordable for many families. The environmental benefits of 2,4-D come from its ability to allow no-till farming, which decreases soil erosion and greenhouse gases.
Over the last 70 years, the use of weed control products to protect turf grass continues to demonstrate important benefits.
In 1945, a development program was conducted with the United States Golf Association on turf grass of the National Capital Park Service including the White House lawn. The purpose of the development program was to demonstrate how herbicides control weeds giving turf grass a chance to grow into a healthy lawn, a vibrant landscape or a cushioned playing field.
2,4-D, used in accordance with label directions, allows homeowners to enjoy their lawn free of invasive weeds and allergens. The selective herbicide targets only broadleaf weeds, leaving turf grass attractive and unharmed.
Non-native invasive weeds destroy wildlife habitat and forage, threaten endangered species and native plants, increase soil erosion and groundwater loss, and block recreational opportunities. The U.S. Geological Survey reports that some $20 billion in damages can be linked to invasive plants.
2,4-D prevents the growth of weeds that crack, buckle, and erode road services as well as walks, or block power line right-of-ways, saving tax dollars.
2,4-D is an efficient, safe, low-cost alternative to traditional mechanical methods of weeding forests. Noxious and invasive weeds deprive young trees of the nutrients and sunlight required to grow. Following state-regulated environmental practices, 2,4-D can control noxious and invasive weeds allowing forests to flourish.
An ongoing study that began in 1994 shows that in forests where vegetation is controlled with herbicides, trees grow faster, bigger, and have larger root systems.