NovaChem > Industry News > 2020 > Formulation is vital for performance

Formulation is vital for performance

Published on 08/12/2020

WORDS: Marc Fox, customer market manager,Bayer Crop Protection.

Sometimes, however, the number of choices 
can make the decision difficult, especially when comparing products with the same active ingredient. Formulation is certainly one of the key aspects that should be explored in the decision process. 

In the case of Movento, containing the active ingredient spirotetramat (Group 23), it has the ability to be translocated both in the xylem and the phloem. This ‘two way systemicity’ means distribution in the plant is even and thorough, and can reach a great deal of the target plant. So, when chewing and sucking pests feed ,the chances of mortality are greatly enhanced. Formulation is key to the solid performance of the Movento products. 

In order to be translocated in the plants vascular system, and become efficacious against the target pests, spirotetramat must first penetrate the leaf. Once penetration into the leaf has occurred, a chemical reaction occurs within the plant, and spirotetramat is converted to spirotetramat enol. It is only in this enol form that Movento becomes effective. Therefore, it is crucial that when using spirotetramat, the formulation contains a fully researched and effective aduvant package. 

The Movento formulations available today have been formulated to contain the right balance of these adjuvants, which is the reason they perform so strongly. Without the right formulation, two key concerns arise:

• Without penetration and subsequent con
version within the leaf, efficacy will be compromised risking crop damage and reduced potential to control key quarantine pests. Both scenarios threaten income, and in the case of quarantine pests, risk the threat of restrictions to or rejection of shipments of produce and damage to New Zealand industry reputation.

• An application of spirotetramat that does 
not penetrate the leaf surface quickly, has the potential to sit for longer periods of time, and either not penetrate, or only slowly penetrate. This exposes the target pests to potential sub-lethal doses of the product meaning resistance to spirotetramat could develop in a much quicker timeframe than it may happen under normal circumstances. 

Recent global testing of different generic 100SC spirotetramat formulations showed Movento 100SC not only had more surfactant but provided five times more penetration than those formulations it was tested against. In addition, each product was tested for effectiveness against aphids. When compared to scale and mealybugs, aphids are considered easier to control. In these tests, Movento showed a clear advantage over the other formulations, meaning that others may not have the same efficacy on harder-to-control pests. 

Another example of formulation excellence can be found in Roundup Ultra®MAX. 

The active parent molecule of glyphosate is an acid. Glyphosate in its acid form is an insoluble material that cannot be readily utilised. In order to improve solubility, formulations around various salts with high solubility have been developed. The type of salt not only determines the solubility but can also affect the stability and compatibility of the final formulation. 

Roundup UltraMAX is formulated as a potassium salt, which allows the higher loading and gives the best stability and solubility over what previous formulations could have provided. A further benefit of the potassium salt is that it provides better compatibility with a wide range of other tank mix partners. 

Salts generally do not improve activity. It is important to note that it is the parent acid,which is the active portion of the formulation, at the site of action in the plant, not the salt, that drives the performance of the product. So it is very important to have a surfactant that can deliver as much active to the plant as possible.

Surfactants are critical to enhance 
the efficacy of glyphosate by enabling better penetration into the plant, and glyphosate performance relies on the quality of the surfactant. But a higher loading of active ingredient per litre can mean less room for surfactant. To counter this, Roundup UltraMAX is formulated with Transorb II surfactant already contained in the drum, and at a level that is one of the highest available surfactant loadings on the market. 

Transorb II is a powerful, new generation proprietary surfactant designed exclusively in a concentrated form to deliver the best performance possible. The benefit of this is that it does not require additional surfactants (with the exception of Pulse®/Slikka® which can added to provide 30 minutes rainfastness), be saving money and giving even coverage, rapid penetration, brownout and improved rainfastness. 

Formulation technology makes a difference. Movento and Roundup UltraMAX can be relied upon to deliver results because they are correctly formulated for optimal penetration of the leaf surface to deliver performance.

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