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
CropLife 100United Cooperative Acquires Four ADM Wisconsin Facilities
November 12, 2015
United Cooperative, based out of Beaver Dam, WI, recently acquired four grain and agronomy locations from Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Car Makes NASCAR Xfinity Series
October 29, 2015
BRANDT will join JR Motorsports with driver, Justin Allgaier, for the 2016 NASCAR Xfinity (NXS) Series season. Allgaier will pilot Read More
CHS Building exterior
CropLife 100CHS Leaders Help Shape Succession Report
October 22, 2015
Succession planning was listed as a main concern of cooperative leaders at this summer’s 15 regional CHS owner town hall Read More
Fall Harvest
CropLife 100Pinnacle Purchases Eight Regional Seed Companies
October 12, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings has announced the purchase of eight regional seed companies to advance its seed business. Pinnacle has acquired: Read More
MRM Agricultural Service
CropLife 100Pinnacle Acquires CropLife 100 Ag Retailer
October 8, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC has successfully acquired the Missouri-based agronomy business of MRM Agricultural Service, LLC and its affiliates (MRM). Operating Read More
Eric Jenks, Wilbur-Ellis
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Opens Dry Fertilizer Storage And Blending Facility In Washington
October 8, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co., ranked No. 4 on the CropLife 100, has constructed and opened a 22,000-ton dry fertilizer storage and blending Read More
Latest News
HerbicidesBREAKING: EPA Pulls Registration On Dow’s Enlist …
November 25, 2015
EPA on Wednesday withdrew approval of a controversial new weed killer to be used on genetically modified corn and soybeans, Read More
FertilizerYara Tampa Ammonia Terminal Garners ResponsibleAg Honor…
November 25, 2015
Yara has received its first ResponsibleAg Certification for its Tampa, FL, Ammonia terminal location. This achievement demonstrates Yara’s commitment to Read More
ManagementReviewing The Top Ag Stories For 2015
November 24, 2015
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Paul Schrimpf discuss the most noteworthy events from this past year in agriculture. Read More
EmployeesAgriculture Jobs May Be Plentiful, But New Grads Are Sc…
November 24, 2015
Close to 60,000 jobs are set to open up in agriculture each year for the next five years, but there's not enough grads to fill them. Read More
Radish cover crop
StewardshipCover Crops Guide Helps Growers Improve Water Quality
November 23, 2015
A publication that teaches growers the advantages of using cover crops to improve soil health and crop yields has won Read More
Crop InputsThe Andersons’ Products Receive California Organi…
November 23, 2015
The Plant Nutrient Group of The Andersons, Inc. announced today that its Humic DG and Black Gypsum DG products are Read More
Eric SfiligojNew European Study Seems To Support Glyphosate Safety
November 23, 2015
Looking at any international news over the past few years, it might seem as if the European Union (EU) is Read More
Toggle Biostimulant corn roots
Crop InputsTwo New Biostimulants Added To United Suppliers’ …
November 20, 2015
Winfield US announces the launch of two new products in the United Suppliers portfolio for the 2016 crop season, Optify Read More
StewardshipNRDC Report: Cover Crops Contain Vast Benefits
November 19, 2015
As harvest season ends and farmers in the United States ready themselves for winter, one small change could make a Read More
Fall Harvest
Seed/BiotechArysta Launches New Seed Protectant
November 19, 2015
As spring wheat growers begin planning for a strong start to their season, Arysta LifeScience North America announces RANCONA V Read More
Crop InputsInocucor Receives U.S. Patent For Microbials
November 19, 2015
Inocucor Technologies Inc., the Montreal-based agriculture biotech company, was issued patent No. 9,175,258 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to protect Read More
ManagementSyngenta Rumors and ARA 2015 Preview
November 19, 2015
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj looks at the latest rumors involving Syngenta selling its crop protection business and talks about events Read More
EquipmentAGCO Announces Finalists For Operator Of The Year Honor
November 19, 2015
AGCO Corp. has announced the four top operators chosen as finalists for AGCO’s 10th Annual Operator of the Year program, Read More
High Plains Aquifer
StewardshipStudy: High Plains Aquifer Overall Usage In Decline
November 18, 2015
A new Kansas State University study finds that the over-tapping of the High Plains Aquifer’s groundwater beyond the aquifer’s recharge Read More
Golden Harvest Corn healthy leaves
FungicidesArysta Launches New Corn And Soybean Fungicide
November 17, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America has recently launched ZOLERA FX Fungicide. The highly systemic, powerful fungicide delivers broad-spectrum disease control with Read More
Young corn plants in soil
Crop InputsBioAg Alliance: Microbials Targeted For 250-500 million…
November 17, 2015
Monsanto and Novozymes have announced a new 2025 acreage target that will guide the companies’ microbials business for the next Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsSyngenta Still Being Eyed For China Takeover
November 16, 2015
China National Chemical Corp. approached sovereign wealth funds including China Investment Corp. to help pay for a potential acquisition of Read More
Cedar Country Cooperative
Eric SfiligojCooperative Consolidation Continues
November 16, 2015
As I put this enewsletter column together, we’ve just put the finishing touches on our magazine’s annual CropLife 100 report. Read More