Better Mixes, Better Yields

Respect. That’s what adjuvant makers covet from chemical manufacturers and users. “We are the delivery mechanism,” says Kent Woodall, director of marketing at Rosen’s Inc.

New, exciting chemistries in both adjuvant and pesticide markets are making delivery more complex. But manufacturers say it’s worth the work to find the right products, especially in these days when any yield boost could mean more profits.

Retailers want to streamline their adjuvant product offerings, says Casey McDaniel, product manager of adjuvants and proprietary crop protection products at UAP/Loveland. “They don’t need to have 10 to 15 adjuvants in the barn anymore. It’s more like 3 or 4,” he says.

Loveland is highlighting its LECI-TECH line, made from natural soya lecithin. Because of the compounds’ hydrophobic and hydrophilic molecule sections, they work well with both oil-soluble and water-soluble herbicides.

“There’s also a trend toward efforts to have liquid and dry adjuvants achieve better results with less product,” says Chuck Champion, president of Kalo Inc. For instance, the company’s new patented product Tronic replaces crop oils and methylated seed oil (MSOs) — and allows for use as low as 2 to 3 pints per 100 gallons, vs. traditional rates of 2 to 4 quarts per 100 gallons. “A new soybean oil-based chemistry, it provides crop safety and convenience without driving up costs,” he says. The same holds true for two other new Kalo adjuvants, Mainstay and FRACTION.

A Dry Debate?

“Liquid adjuvants are quickly replacing dry formulations because liquids are easier for applicators to handle,” believes Tom Pekarek, specialty department manager, United Suppliers, Inc. He cites the company’s own Formula 1 and DoubleDown, touted as low rate, easy to use, and economical. “They both contribute to glyphosate activity through effective water conditioning and increased spray deposition.”

Bob Herzfeld, Agriliance business manager, adjuvants, agrees that customers want adjuvants that are easier to handle. “Convenience is as important and some cases more important than price,” he says. Indeed, instead of price, retailers need to compete on value if they want to remain profitable, says Mark Wayland, marketing manager — adjuvants and value-added products with Helena Chemical Co. “Value-driven products are the best way for retailers to differentiate themselves.”

Woodall is concerned that growers won’t want to spend the money for adjuvants. Products can now account for 10% to 30% of the total cost of an application — compared to 5% to 10% several years ago. He says the situation comes as chemical costs (especially in generics such as glyphosate) have gone down considerably in the last six years. “Tell growers, ‘Go ahead and spend that $1 in adjuvants to make that $4 worth of chemicals work right.'”

Glyphosate And Generics

Jim Reiss, vice president — agricultural business at Precision Laboratories Inc., says the demand for concentrated/low-use chemistries can really be seen in adjuvant formulations designed to replace ammonium sulfate (AMS) in glyphosate applications. Then too, with the advent of GMOs and in particular, Roundup Ready (RR) technology, the need for oil-based adjuvants has decreased — mainly because crop oils and MSOs are not compatible with glyphosate, which usually needs water-based nonionic surfactants, not oils, says Herzfeld. (He does note that AMS can be used by all glyphosates, regardless of adjuvant load.)

“As we see more acres of glyphosate applied, there could be more of a trend to simply condition the water and not focus on spray drift,” says Pekarek. He says that’s where the company’s low-use-rate, liquid adjuvant Speedway comes in, enhancing glyphosate by improving the characteristics of hard water and neutralizing metal cations. “Water quality impacts a bigger range of active ingredients than we think,” says Jon Leman, marketing and sales manager with Wilbur-Ellis.

And as the industry continues to implement herbicide resistance strategies in glyphosate-resistant crops, new questions arise about how to handle varied active ingredients in tank mixes. Some of the low-use-rate water conditioning agents have worked for the glyphosate applications, says Reiss. “But applicators may be startled to discover that some of those same technologies could be detrimental to the performance of some of the tank mix partners they will choose to manage glyphosate-resistant weeds,” says Reiss. (His company’s SIMPLYX is geared for glyphosate tank mixes.) Herzfeld points out that “some of the tank mix herbicides will be oil-based, needing a crop oil or MSO — such as we have now having to deal with RR volunteer corn in RR beans. That poses a challenge.” He points to Agriliance’s Destiny HC, which uses a unique technology, employing a corn-based emulsifier system. “It’s the first MSO that we know of that’s compatible with glyphosate and can be used at half the rate of traditional MSOs.”

“We see the greater attention to the use of adjuvants to revitalize the use of generic plant production products,” says Jim Hazen, global development manager at Akzo Nobel Surfactants, supplier to adjuvant manufacturers. “Some of the generic products are six, seven, eight deep in the market today,” points out Leman. And, they may be sporting old labels up to 17 or 18 years old. “For labels that called for nonionic surfactants, AMS, or oil, 20 years ago, there may be better options,” he says. “With all the new formulations of some active ingredients, dealers should make no assumptions on what’s safe — that a nonionic surfactant works the best.” Wayland agrees: “The old days of simply using either a ‘surfactant’ or ‘oil’ are being replaced by more specific recommendations from manufacturers and academia. They’ll require a higher level of communication from retailers for both growers and applicators.”

Leave a Reply

Adjuvants Stories

AdjuvantsHelena Chemical Introduces New Drift Control Adjuvant Justified
May 13, 2015
Helena Chemical Co. introduces Justified, an innovative drift control agent designed to improve the performance and precision of spray applications Read More
Nozzle spray close-up
AdjuvantsSpray Drift Enters More Complex Era
May 1, 2015
Off-target movement of crop protection products has been a problem for decades. The issue got more contentious when glyphosate-tolerant crops Read More
Winter Wheat
AdjuvantsMax Systems Debuts New Adjuvant NanoRevolution 2.0
March 18, 2015
Added to a tank mix of glyphosate at the conservative rate of two to four ounces per acre, NanoRevolution 2.0 has proven effective in killing resistant weed species that had already had up to two applications of the leading glyphosate product. Read More
Young soybean field
AdjuvantsAltitude Crop Innovations Details Portfolio, Distribution Strategy
March 9, 2015
Altitude Crop Innovations, a CO-based crop protection and specialty chemicals company, announces its portfolio and distribution strategy, naming Meridian Agriculture Distribution as its exclusive distribution partner. Read More
Top 100 Articles
Elburn Cooperative
CropLife 100Elburn Cooperative Members Vote To Join CHS
December 28, 2015
With 81% of eligible producers voting, 94% cast an affirmative ballot for Elburn Cooperative, a diversified agricultural retailer based out Read More
West Central Cooperative, Jefferson, IA
CropLife 100Farmers Cooperative-West Central Merger Approved
December 21, 2015
The members of Farmers Cooperative Co. (FC), Ames, IA, and West Central Cooperative, Ralston, IA, have both approved the merger Read More
Wheat Growers Innovation Center, Bath, SD
CropLife 100Wheat Growers Opens Innovation Center
December 21, 2015
Wheat Growers’ commitment in providing its farmer-owners with the latest in technological advancements now has a one-of-a-kind focal point, as Read More
CropLife 100ARA Selects The Andersons As 2015 Retailer Of The Year
December 9, 2015
The Agricultural Retailers Association today named Maumee, OH-based The Andersons as its Retailer of the Year for 2015. The award Read More
CPS Washington Court House John Deere Sprayer
CropLife 100Application Equipment Report: It Is Easy Being Green For Top 100 Ag Retailers
December 5, 2015
On The Muppets television show, Kermit the Frog is famous for singing a song about the troubles he encounters in Read More
Fertilizer Bin
CropLife 100Fertilizer Sales: Another Down Year For Top 100 Ag Retailers
December 4, 2015
In pure number terms, the fertilizer category still dominates all crop inputs/services among CropLife 100 ag retailers. In 2015, for Read More
Latest News
Soybean field
FungicidesFour Arysta Fungicide Formulations Given FIFRA Approval…
February 8, 2016
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced the issuance of Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Section 2(ee) Recommendations for Read More
FungicidesAgri-Fos Systemic Fungicide Plus Receives EPA Registrat…
February 8, 2016
Vivid Life Sciences has announced the EPA registration of Agri-Fos Systemic Fungicide Plus, a highly concentrated active ingredient phosphite fungicide, Read More
Crop InputsBayer Contests EPA’s Decision On Valuable Insecticide F…
February 5, 2016
Crop Science, a division of Bayer, has announced it has refused a request by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to Read More
Wheat Field North Dakota
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Wins Seed Fraud Suit Against South Dakota Grow…
February 5, 2016
Syngenta has obtained a $25,000 settlement from Paul and John Mayclin, Mayclin Farms, Plankinton, SD, in response to their Plant Read More
ManagementOABA Annual Conference Wraps Up In Columbus
February 5, 2016
More than 300 Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) members and industry professionals were on hand to engage in collaborative learning and Read More
Crop InputsBayer To Contest EPA Flubendiamide Decision
February 5, 2016
Crop Science, a division of Bayer, announced today it has refused a request by EPA to voluntarily cancel the uses Read More
Syngenta
Seed/BiotechNot So Fast: ChemChina Syngenta Takeover Could Draw Nat…
February 5, 2016
State-owned China National Chemical Corp. (ChemChina), which plans to buy Swiss seeds and pesticide maker Syngenta, will promptly start preparations Read More
Rendering of Syngenta Seedcare Institute expansion
Seed/BiotechExpansion Of Syngenta’s North America Seedcare In…
February 4, 2016
As demand for seed treatment knowledge and products grows among farmers, retailers and others in the seed industry, Syngenta is Read More
Soybean Field
Industry NewsArysta LifeScience Strengthens Sales Team
February 4, 2016
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced three new personnel additions: Jake Cook and Peter White are Territory Sales Managers for Read More
Davor Pisk Syngenta COO
Crop InputsSyngenta COO: Why ChemChina Offer Beat Monsanto’s
February 4, 2016
Syngenta Chief Operating Officer Davor Pisk says he is confident the proposed acquisition by ChemChina will ultimately help preserve choice Read More
Young corn plants in soil
Crop InputsKoch Biological Solutions Invests In Pathway Biologic
February 4, 2016
An affiliate of Koch Biological Solutions, LLC has acquired a minority equity position in, and entered into collaboration with, Pathway Read More
Crop InputsABG: China Signs Off On Monsanto’s Roundup Ready …
February 3, 2016
Monsanto Co. on Wednesday announced it plans to launch its Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans in time for the 2016 Read More
Syngenta headquarters in Basel, Switzerland
Crop Inputs6 Things To Know About The ChemChina-Syngenta Deal
February 3, 2016
After months of rumors and speculation, Syngenta has announced that ChemChina has offered to acquire the Swiss-based company. “In making Read More
FertilizerPhosphorus: Is Band Or Broadcast Application The Better…
February 3, 2016
Is band or broadcast application the better method when it comes to phosphorus? The answer to this question depends mostly Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsChemChina Nearing Deal To Buy Syngenta For Record $43 B…
February 3, 2016
China National Chemical Corp. is nearing an agreement to buy Swiss pesticide-and-seeds-maker Syngenta AG for about 43.7 billion francs ($42.8 Read More
Herbicides2015 ASA Trials Demonstrate Valent Fierce XLT Herbicide…
February 2, 2016
Valent U.S.A. today announced that new Fierce XLT Soybean Herbicide ranks in the top tier among growers for length of Read More
Crop Protection Products in storage
Paul SchrimpfCrop Input Selling: Return Of The Price List
February 2, 2016
It was a good 15 years ago, shortly after I first started writing for this esteemed publication, that it all Read More
Potash storage at Growmark
FertilizerThe Phosphate And Potash Outlook For 2016
February 2, 2016
Like other commodities, prices of the leading plant nutrient products dropped sharply in 2015. At this writing, the price of Read More