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

AdjuvantsPrecision Laboratories Partners with Monsanto to Offer Intact Drift Reduction Agent
May 2, 2017
Precision Laboratories announces a partnership with Monsanto to include an adjuvant in Roundup Ready PLUS Crop Management Solutions. Intact drift Read More
AdjuvantsA New Weed-Control Era Begins: But First, One Last Obstacle
March 4, 2017
There is trepidation, there is reluctance, and there is excitement. Ag retailers feel it all about the new dicamba and Read More
Regulator 3.0 Concentrate
AdjuvantsNew Max Systems Product Aids Irrigation
August 11, 2016
A gentle rainfall is nearly always welcomed by crop producers, including those who rely on irrigation to produce a profitable Read More
Nozzle spray close-up
AdjuvantsWest Central Distribution Introduces New Elite Family Of Adjuvants
July 14, 2016
West Central Distribution recently released a new line of Elite adjuvants to work alongside the new herbicide technologies that combat Read More
Trending Articles
Migrant farm workers
LegislationTrump: Immigration Crackdown Won’t Impact U.S. Agriculture
May 16, 2017
President Donald Trump said he would seek to keep his tough immigration enforcement policies from harming the U.S. farm industry Read More
AGCO Ratliff featured
Eric SfiligojRemembering Robert Ratliff
May 15, 2017
With all the fast-paced happenings in agriculture this spring, with multiple mergers in the works and planting season in full Read More
Case sprayer nozzle closeup
EquipmentSpray Application: A Nozzle Renaissance
May 2, 2017
If you had asked four-decade ag veteran Mark Bartel, President of Wilger Inc., just a few years ago what lay Read More
ManagementWashington Update, Dow-DuPont Earnings, and the Passing of an AGCO Legend
April 27, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about the latest Beltway news, crop protection company 1st quarter numbers, and the Read More
Crop InputsFlying Under the Radar No More, FMC Goes Big
April 13, 2017
Describing FMC as “under the radar,” admittedly, is probably a stretch. But in a snap of the fingers, FMC upped Read More
Young Corn Plants
Crop NutritionStill Hunting Yields
April 1, 2017
There’s no denying it — the agricultural marketplace today is undergoing a fundamental shift in fortunes. Not too many years Read More
Latest News
ManagementTrip Report, PSM R.I.P, and Ag’s Reaction to Federal Bu…
May 25, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about their recent travels, the end for Process Safety Management (PSM), and how Read More
Corn soil
LegislationARA Member Testifies Before Senate Ag Committee
May 25, 2017
Agricultural retailers stand on the front-lines of the American economy. As trusted advisors to America’s farmers, ag retailers are uniquely Read More
Young corn plants in soil
Crop InputsFortenza Insecticide Seed Treatment Receives EPA Regist…
May 25, 2017
Fortenza seed treatment insecticide from Syngenta has received registration approval from the U.S. EPA for use on corn and cotton Read More
ManagementFarm Market iD’s Agriculture Database Now Covers More T…
May 25, 2017
Farm Market iD, farmmarketid.com, has announced the release of its 2017 Annual Update of its farm and land database. The Read More
Food IT Fork-to-Farm
Precision AgThe Mixing Bowl Event Connects Technology, Food, and Ag…
May 24, 2017
For the fourth consecutive year, The Mixing Bowl presents FOOD IT, under the theme “Fork to Farm.” Action-oriented entrepreneurs, industry Read More
Photo credit: The United Soybean Board/The Soybean Checkoff.
Seed/BiotechKansas State University Researchers Find New Pathogens …
May 24, 2017
A single seed seems so simple. Put it in the ground, give it some care, and you’ve soon grown food. Read More
Soybean Field
HerbicidesNew Dicamba Herbicide Premix Coming Soon from Syngenta
May 24, 2017
Syngenta has announced the name of its new herbicide featuring the active ingredients of S-metolachlor and dicamba. Upon registration by Read More
Eric SfiligojMonsanto ‘Picks Its Battles’ by Nixing Deere Deal
May 23, 2017
Having been in the trade journalism game since the mid-1980s, I remember several watershed moments during my career. One of Read More
FungicidesSyngenta Launches New Seed Treatment Fungicide
May 22, 2017
Syngenta has announced the launch of PLENARIS seed treatment fungicide for the control of downy mildew in sunflower. PLENARIS contains Read More
Corn close up
Crop InputsMonsanto’s First HPPD Herbicide Garners EPA Appro…
May 19, 2017
Monsanto announced today that EPA has federally approved Harness MAX Herbicide, the first herbicide in the Monsanto portfolio to provide Read More
ManagementPrecision Planting Deal, China Developments, and Enviro…
May 18, 2017
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Dan Jacobs discuss the latest news on John Deere’s now dead deal for Precision Planting, China’s Read More
Soybean aphid leaf
InsecticidesMulti-state Research Reveals IPM Best Option for Treatm…
May 17, 2017
About 89.5 million acres of soybeans will be planted across the U.S. in 2017 — a record high, according to Read More
GROWMARK-2017-Interns
CropLife 100GROWMARK Names 2017 Summer Interns
May 16, 2017
Forty-two college students are exploring agricultural career opportunities this summer as GROWMARK interns. They are working at FS member cooperatives Read More
Migrant farm workers
LegislationTrump: Immigration Crackdown Won’t Impact U.S. Ag…
May 16, 2017
President Donald Trump said he would seek to keep his tough immigration enforcement policies from harming the U.S. farm industry Read More
Flooded corn in Indiana
FertilizerBoth Wet and Dry Conditions Threaten Nitrogen Loss
May 15, 2017
The weather is notoriously unpredictable, leading to challenges for planting, harvesting and applying the nitrogen (N) your corn crop needs. Read More
farmer Kip Tom
Precision AgAg Tech: On the Cusp of Something Big?
May 15, 2017
The investment and ag-tech sectors’ continuing courtship of agriculture, smoldering for three or four years now, was well in evidence at Read More
AGCO Ratliff featured
Eric SfiligojRemembering Robert Ratliff
May 15, 2017
With all the fast-paced happenings in agriculture this spring, with multiple mergers in the works and planting season in full Read More
Greg Musson, Gar Tootelian
ManagementOpinion: Shaking Your Perspective in Ag Retail
May 12, 2017
Some of you I’m sure have encountered our recently retired salesman extraordinaire, Dan Bellanger. He worked in the industry for Read More