NovaChem > Industry News > 2023 > Getting agricultural best practice right

Getting agricultural best practice right

Published on 23/11/2023

Costs are rising. Returns are falling. Compliance is becoming more complex. And there’s the environment, and health and safety to consider. However, some solutions to those challenges may be coming from an unexpected quarter - Adjuvants.
David Lingan, UPL NZ’s adju
vant product manager, says adjuvants help maximise spray programme efficacy, mitigate risk, and reduce waste.

“They’re massively underrated.
Adjuvants improve safety for crops, for people, and for the environment.”

Lingan says it is important to
start at the beginning.
“Cleaning gear at season’s start
and between products with All Clear 2X spray tank cleaner and decontaminator removes even sticky products, such as carfentrazone. It’ll clean everything from the tank to the spray lines to the nozzles. It’s vital to doing that job well to avoid contamination and protect gear.”

He says All Clear 2X is also great
for helicopter spray setups.
Accurate calibration is essential
to optimising spray efficacy and minimising waste. Lingan says another UPL adjuvant, FoamMaster, reduces foam and helps ensure the right concentration is in the spraytank.

FoamMaster should, ideally, go
in the tank first to get the best results. But it can also be used to stop foam once foaming has occurred – minimising waste, and ground contamination.

He says FoamMaster works
well across a wide pH range.

“It’s got a low use rate, it comes
in a convenient 250 mL pack, and is very cost effective.”

‘Hard water’ is another sub
stantial challenge easily solved by adjuvants, Lingan says. “Water hardness has one of the biggest negative impacts on spray performance.”

He says that leads to unneces
sary expense, extra fuel and labour costs, and reduced efficacy – all issues easily addressed with a water conditioner.

X-Change acts as a sacrificial
product, changing hard water into soft by locking up free ions, which would otherwise deactivate products.

“Some chemicals, including
glyphosates, are very susceptible to the effect of hard water. The positively charged cations in calcium, magnesium, iron etc. bind to the negatively charged glyphosate molecule. This slows uptake, reduces solubility, thus decreasing the efficacy of glyphosate in particular.”

Lingan says the easy solution
is water testing no matter what your assumption or even knowledge.

“Pool water testers are cheap,
quick and you can get them from hardware stores. They don’t cost much, and they can save you a heap.” 
Water hardness of 150 ppm is considered moderately hard and requires attention.
With a portfolio of 22 proven
adjuvant products, UPL (formerly Elliot Chemicals) is an industry leader with a specialist understanding of New Zealand conditions, requirements, and the pressures on growers.

For more information on how
adjuvants can make a difference in spray programme, contact your local technical specialist or David Lingan at UPL NZ.

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