NovaChem > Industry News > 2023 > Innovative adjuvant boosts performance of pre-emerge herbicides

Innovative adjuvant boosts performance of pre-emerge herbicides

Published on 16/06/2023

Agrisource distributes Back-Row Max in New Zealand, and Agrisource business development and marketing manager Darren Faire says BackRow Max has been extensively trialled and has a proven track record.
“It has achieved over a decade
of field use in tough UK and European conditions. Now this exciting specialist adjuvant is available in New Zealand,” Darren says.
BackRow Max is a specialist
activator adjuvant designed to be used with pre-em herbicides. Made up of a unique blend of surfactants, it reduces the variability of pre-em herbicide performance in sub-optimal conditions. It reduces drift and improves coverage at application time and improves activity when soils are either dry or very wet.
The performance Kiwi farmers and growers have achieved
with BackRow Max this past season, along with independent research trials in the North and South Islands confirms the positive results seen in the UK and Europe,” Darren says.

BackRow Max optimises pre-
em spray applications by reducing spray drift and improving deposition. It reduces the number of fine spray droplets smaller than 100 microns, which are the most susceptible to drift. It also increases the number of droplets in the optimum size range for improved deposition and optimum soil coverage1.

There are two major challenges
when applying pre-em herbicides in autumn and spring windows:

1) a lack of moisture following
spraying, and

2) excessively wet
conditions in the days and weeks after application.

BackRow Max holds on to soil
moisture and retains that moisture in the top 5 cm of soil. This means that a higher concentration of herbicide can be dissolved in the soil water and is therefore available for uptake into germinating weeds.

Its ability to increase water
retention has proven to be as much as 33 percent in some trials.2  This can be critical for light soils, where moisture is easily lost, as well as soils with high clay or organic matter.

An ability to hold herbicide in
the top 5 cm can also be a lifeline for pre-em herbicides in wet soils. A longer presence and increased concentration of herbicide in the top layer of the soil leads to more effective weed control in challenging wet conditions.

This benefit can be crucial for
herbicides that have moderate-high mobility and are prone to leaching, such as clomazone, dimethenamid-P, flufenacet or ethofumesate.

Darren says BackRow Max does
not extend the residual profile of any herbicide it is partnered with. It simply helps retain it for longer in the top few centimetres of the soil where it is needed most.

“That is the critical zone where
the majority of weed seedlings germinate. We know there is a growing concern around the development of herbicide resistance, and anything we can do to optimize pre-em herbicide performance is advantageous. This is true for resistance management and to maximise the performance of the pre-emergent to take pressure off following post-emergent herbicide applications.”

BackRow Max can be used with
any pre-emergent herbicide. It comes in a 5-litre pack and is applied at a single application rate of 400 ml/ha.

Darren says farmers and spray
ing contractors all over New Zealand will welcome the addition of BackRow Max to their weed management toolbox.

For more information contact
your crop agronomist, rural retailer or visit the Agrisource website (

1. Silsoe Spray Applications Unit, UK
2020. Lurmark 03F110 Flat fan, 200litres/ha of water.

2. Syngenta. Netherlands, 2017.

BackRow Max is a trademark of Inter-agro (UK) Ltd. 

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