Published on 03/10/2023

“You always want the best outcome. If we begin by looking at spray-out time before planting with non-selective herbicides, Unison adjuvant delivers drift control and the enhanced deposition, retention and penetration that you really need.”
David says Unison is a low foaming, non-
petroleum-based adjuvant primarily used with herbicides like glyphosate and glufosinates.
“It is a unique patented formulation. It is a
blend of soybean oil ethoxylate and extract from pine tree stumps. It helps the sprays to be absorbed through the natural pathways by opening the plant’s waxy and hairy cuticles. It does not damage the cuticle, so it does not slow down uptake. With Unison the uptake into the plant is excellent.”

The ability to manage spray drift effectively
not only reduces waste but reduces environmental hazards and the threat to neighbouring crops and plants.

“Ensuring non-selective herbicides land on
the target is part of running a good business and practising good land stewardship.”

David says adjuvants in general have an
important role to play in helping extract maximum value and safety for spray contractors and their clients, along with reducing the risk of any unintended consequences of spray application.

While adjuvants are a broad category,
UPL are across it. Previously Elliott Chemicals Limited, they began work on adjuvants in this country more than two decades ago. Today, they are industry leaders with a portfolio of 22 proven adjuvants – each with its own job to do.

“The ability to get sprays ‘to, on and in’ are
what adjuvants bring to the spray application,” David says. “While adjuvants don’t include an active, they have a lot to contribute.”

Perhaps the best known and most used
UPL is the super-spreader Du-Wett. Water makes up as much as 90 percent of sprays, and it has a high surface tension. Therefore, using water alone doesn’t give real spread or coverage. Adding a spreader will definitely enhance the product’s performance and make every droplet count.

There are other benefits too. Du-Wett has a
significant impact in terms of time and cost-savings because it can be used at a much reduced water application volume.

In that way, the spraying is completed fast
er.  Tank filling and travelling times are cut, especially if you are moving between blocks. Diesel and labour expenses also decrease, which David says more than pays for the cost of the adjuvant.

Adjuvants also play a role in other aspects
of good agricultural practice. For instance, All Clear 2X spray tank cleaner and decontaminator removes notoriously sticky products such as carfentrazone (e.g., Clout).

David says All Clear 2X is cheap insurance
against accidental cross-contamination and mistakes. “Getting your spray equipment cleaned, and fully decontaminated prior to the start of the spraying season, should be part of a regular maintenance programme.”

Hard water is another potential factor in
spray efficacy that an adjuvant can help tackle.

“What people often forget is that water is
an active chemical (H2O). Some chemicals, including glyphosates, are very susceptible to the effect of ‘hard’ water.

“The positively charged cations in calcium,
magnesium, iron and other minerals bind to the negatively charged glyphosate molecule. This slows uptake, reduces solubility, and can precipitate out of the solution, reducing the efficiency of glyphosate in particular.”

David recommends water conditioner and
ion scavenger X-Change to optimise spray performance. X-Change reduces the effects of hard water, locking up free ions which would otherwise deactivate products.

The importance of exact calibration hasn’t
been overlooked either. This is where FoamMaster comes in. David says the low use rate in a convenient 250 millilitre pack is highly effective at reducing foaming, waste and miscalculations.

It helps achieve the right concentration in
the spray tank. He recommends using Foam-Master to prevent foam in the tank first for best results, although it can also be used to stop foaming once it has occurred.

For more information on how adjuvants
can make a difference in your spray programme, contact your technical specialist or UPL NZ.
Rural Contractor article supplied by UPL.

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