NovaChem > Industry News > 2018 > The pictures tell the story - not all adjuvants are equal

The pictures tell the story - not all adjuvants are equal

Published on 27/08/2018

Hands up if you’ve heard this more than once, and give yourself a pat on the back if you know it’s wrong.
As it turns out, the humble adjuvant can make or break a spray job, so before another hectic spring arrives, some sound technical advice and advocacy on this topic can really pay off, for both you and your customers.
That’s the word from Corteva Agriscience, which says the sheer number of adjuvants on the New Zealand market these days sometimes makes it hard for farmers and growers to realise how important the right choice is when it comes to getting the best out of their agchem investment.
So many options are available, they can be perceived as interchangeable and/or as a chance to cut a few dollars off the overall cost of a job.
But not all adjuvants are equal.

The same herbicide, for example, applied at the same rate to the same crop at the same time with two different adjuvants can have drastically different results, the company says.
“We’ve seen this repeatedly in our own trial work with Uptake Spraying Oil,” says marketing manager Glen Surgenor.
The wrong adjuvant can compromise spray performance and results, may not be designed to work in conjunction with the
agchem formulation being applied, may cause plant injury or loss and – because it is being used off-label – can void technical support and warranty if things go wrong.
Surgenor says most users understand the general principle behind adjuvants, which help enhance chemical entry into plant tissue.

Increased efficacy comes via improved spray retention on the target weed, greater droplet spreading across the leaf surface and improved active ingredient uptake into the target species.
“However, there is no universal adjuvant that will increase the performance of every single herbicide, pesticide or fungicide.”

This is why Corteva Agriscience invests considerable resource into evaluating the most suitable adjuvants during development of its products, focussing on crop safety, efficacy, compatibility and economics, he says.
It’s also why the company has repeatedly compared Uptake Spraying Oil mixed with several of its herbicides against other concentrated crop oils, as well as non-ionic surfactants, mixed with the same herbicides.
Characteristics tested include spray droplet retention, spray droplet spreading and herbicide uptake.
Results of this work highlight both Uptake’s quality and the importance of correct adjuvant choice, Surgenor says.
“When we have studied the performance of concentrated crop oils, Uptake Spraying Oil provided the highest level of spray retention on both grass and broadleaf species, and significantly more retention than any other crop oil concentrates tested on the grass species.
“It also resulted in the highest level of herbicide spreading on both broadleaves and grasses.”
In a similar vein, compared to non-ionic surfactants Uptake Spraying Oil promoted more than twice as much droplet spreading of Corteva Agriscience crop protection products on both broadleaf and grass species.
For farmers and growers, the bottom line is a faster, more reliable result in the paddock, he says.
For more detail talk to your local Corteva Agriscience territory manager.

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