For Adjuvants, It’s A New World

Tank mixing order

Getting the best return for your growers’ herbicide investment gives value to using adjuvants. And now that agriculture is dealing with glyphosate resistance, many different herbicides are being used in a tank mix, and those products may react differently to various adjuvants.

We gathered advice from distributors and other industry experts to help you sort through the choices you’ll need to make.

With rising commodity prices and educated growers realizing the value of crop inputs, it’s changing perception about the value of adjuvant use. “The current commodity prices make it easier for growers to see a positive and more consistent ROI on secondary inputs,” says Jim Reiss, Precision Laboratories vice president of ag chemistries. “Also, I think some growers are starting to sense a moral obligation to maximize food production to ensure some level of security for a growing world population.”

Reiss adds: “As growers and applicators use more multiple-component  tank mixes, whether it’s for managing resistant weeds pre or postemergence or enhancing yields with fungicides and foliar nutrition products, there is much more tank mixing.”

More complex decisions mean determining the best way to mesh the proper adjuvants with crop protection inputs. “As the fight against resistant weeds ramps up, and applicators desire to accomplish the multiple objectives of weed control, insect control, plant health and nutrition — in a single application, we’ll see more tank mixing than ever before,” says Reiss.

Tank Mix Concerns

His advice is to beware of the tank mix. “Just because you can add many products to the tank at one time, doesn’t make it a good idea,” he says. “Everything may look like it should mix together, but it won’t without the right technique and mixing sequence.”

According to Reiss, there are two problem areas. “For weed control, it could mean lower levels of performance from the tank mix partner selected to manage resistant weeds,” he says. “Most tank mix partners for glyphosate have significantly different adjuvant needs. In fact, some of the adjuvants used successfully with glyphosate won’t contribute much to optimizing performance of the tank mix partner.”

The second area of concern is greater risk of compatibility problems. “Using the wrong mixing sequencing can cause physical incompatibility and plug sprayer lines, screens and nozzles. Some of these problems take time to clean a sprayer, resulting in lost time and application revenue. If you’re a grower, these delays in weed control may mean lower yields from increased competition,” says Reiss.

Precision Laboratories offers the iPhone and iPad Touch application, which provides proper mixing order for growers using crop protection tank mixes, plus new drift control technology for aerial applicators. Check out the free download on the App Store.

Reiss points out: “Most growers and applicators don’t wake up in the morning thinking that using an adjuvant would make everything better, but maybe they should more than they’ve done in the past. They need to question how adjuvant technology is going to enhance the biological efficacy of the tank mix while protecting the environment and themselves from the risks associated with drift. Hopefully, retailers will welcome these questions and build trust with their customers.”

Terry Nash, manager adjuvant brands for Helena Chemical, says: “From our standpoint, specialty products such as adjuvants, micronutrient and foliar fertilizers have become part of a normal toolbox from burndown to desiccation and everything in between.” A new product Helena is offering in 2012 is Fire-Zone, a unique blend of methylated seed oils and surfactants designed exclusively for burndown.

“When you think about farming, weather has always been the story in most areas. We can’t rely on blanket recommendations. We have sales reps trained to ask the questions needed to help the retailer determine the specific products needed in certain situations, depending on what the grower wants to accomplish,” says Nash. “We also have support staff to help sales reps and retailers being bombarded by numerous situations during the growing season.

“Our goal is to protect every investment the grower makes. Research shows that 70% of the efficacy of the product applied is dependent upon proper application and proper product choice,” he says.

“Retailers and distributors alike should be focused on providing the right recommendations for the proper products in the proper tank mixes at the proper timing.” adds Nash.

The Resistance Issue

Ken Carmack, crop protection area sales manager for MFA Inc., agrees that the critical issue seen in their sales area is more different weed species resistant to glyphosate. “People are struggling with what product to add to get control of resistant weeds,” says Carmack. “Many growers have not sprayed anything except glyphosate for many years, and many of the products we had before are no longer around. We’re in the process of re-educating everyone about what adjuvants do and how they enhance weed control.”

Carmack notes that one lesson learned in 2011 was that foliar nutrition applied with proper timing improves plant health, which in turn leads to higher yields. “Many of our recommendations for 2012 are going to revolve around spraying weeds when they are small and choosing the right adjuvants for the tank mix,” he says. “Retailers need to work with distributors who have agronomic specialists to help in giving the best advice to their growers to aid in choosing the proper surfactants for the weed species and the pesticides.”

There’s no longer a “normal” toolbox when it comes to crop protection, says Carmack. “Our philosophy at MFA is to look at our offering, upgrade when needed and not to make the product line too large,” he says. “This year we will have a full launch on a new product called Torrid.”

Carmack points out that many growers farming large acreages have invested in large spray rigs, but they still need help from their retailer to match adjuvants with pesticides. Many MFA retail stores will be holding spray clinics to discuss growers’ general questions about pesticide application. “Most growers today understand the value of making a relatively small investment in specialty products to protect the value of a large herbicide investment. They are risk adverse.”

Jeff Bunting, GROW­MARK crop protection marketing manager, supports a viewpoint similar to other major distributors. He adds: “Drift control to do responsible environmental stewardship is important and that revolves around droplet control with the chemicals sprayed. To do right by your farmers, retailers need to recommend products and practices so the potential for weed control failure is limited.”

Other Considerations

“Retailers are being approached by many companies,” points out Dr. Bryan Young, professor at University of Southern Illinois. “To maintain credibility, retailers should maintain vigor in the products they’re testing and recommending to their valued customers. Let’s not be wasting any money, so be aware that some companies don’t have the research to back up their claims.”

Young suggest that retailers learn the different definitions and categories of adjuvants, noting that more than 600 different adjuvants are in the marketplace. He recommends a pocket guide that may be bound at www.herbicide-adjuvants.com.   

“With glyphosate resistant weeds and more tank mixes, adjuvants are relative again,” says Young. “You need to use a methylated seed oil to activate some herbicides, and take into consideration that glyphosate is water-activated.

“Adjuvants really do enhance herbicide performance, especially when using tank mixes to enhance volunteer corn and waterhemp control when using glyphosate,” he says. “It might mean the different between 3% and 80% control.”

Topics:

Leave a Reply

One comment on “For Adjuvants, It’s A New World

  1. On behalf of United Suppliers, I would enjoy being involved in these articles. I have worked with Lisa Heacox in the past. As adjuvant product manager for United Suppliers, a major agricultural distributor in the midwest, I feel that I could be a good source of information and a contributor to future articles on adjuvants and specialty nutritional products as well. Please feel free to contact for input. Thanks, Tom Pekarek United Suppliers 641-858-2341

Adjuvants Stories

AdjuvantsAdjuvants 2014: Who Needs Good Crop Prices?
March 3, 2014
Apparently not the adjuvants market as new herbicide technologies and other influences have manufacturers ramping up production in anticipation of another splendid season for adjuvant adoption. Read More
AdjuvantsNew Adjuvants Report Forecasts A Growing Market
November 1, 2013
The global agriculture adjuvant market valued at around $2 million in 2012 is expected to to reach nearly $3 million by 2018. Read More
AdjuvantsAdjuvants: Activating Yields
March 1, 2013
Manufacturers are ramping up production of specialty adjuvants as the tank mix takes center stage in the weed resistance fight. Read More

Trending Articles

Crop InputsPlatform Specialty Products To Acquire Arysta LifeScience
October 20, 2014
Once the acquisition is complete, Platform Specialty Products will combine Arysta LifeScience with previously acquired companies Agriphar and Chemtura Crop Solutions. Read More
Seed/BiotechMonsanto Offers New Support For Ferguson, Area Communities
October 8, 2014
Monsanto Co. has committed $1 million in new support for several collaborative efforts in Ferguson, MO, and surrounding communities in North St. Louis County. Read More
Seed/BiotechUnapproved Genetically Modified Wheat Found In Montana
October 3, 2014
USDA reports that one year after discovery of Monsanto's unapproved wheat in a single Oregon field disrupted U.S. wheat export sales, the GMO wheat has again been found in Montana. Read More
Equipment2014 Product Of The Year Voting
September 19, 2014
The deadline to vote for the 2014 CropLife IRON Product of the Year is October 31. Please cast your vote today to help us determine the winner. Read More
FertilizerFall Fertility 2014: Forecasting Fertilizer Use
September 7, 2014
Great crops this year have tapped the soil, and fall work is definitely called for, but how challenging will that get? Read More
CropLife 100CHS To Build $3 Billion Fertilizer Plant In North Dakota
September 5, 2014
The fertilizer plant in Spiritwood will be the single largest investment in CHS history, as well as the single largest private investment project ever undertaken in North Dakota. Read More

Latest News

InsecticidesValent U.S.A., MGK Form Marketing Agreement
October 24, 2014
Valent has formed an agreement with Minneapolis-based MGK to manage the marketing and sales of MGK’s crop protection line of insect control products within the U.S. beginning April 1, 2015. Read More
StewardshipFlorida’s 4R Advocate Keeps Improving
October 24, 2014
Florida farmer Alan Jones uses the 4R principles of nutrient stewardship as the core of his fertility program, which allows him to maximize production and keep costs in check. Read More
Seed/BiotechMonsanto Named One Of The World’s Best Multinational …
October 23, 2014
Monsanto ranked No. 8 in the world’s largest annual study of workplace excellence that identifies the top 25 best multinational companies in terms of workplace culture. Read More
Crop InputsArysta Hires Former Agri-Chem, CPS Employee For Delta S…
October 23, 2014
New Territory Sales Manager Mark Peel’s primary role will focus on working with growers regarding fungicides in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee. Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Announces Appointments In Plant Food Division
October 22, 2014
GROWMARK, Inc. has announced the three key staff changes in its Plant Food Division. Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Appoints New VP Of Finance And Risk Management
October 22, 2014
Wade Mittelstadt has been named GROWMARK Vice President, Financial and Risk Mangement, effective December 1, 2014. Read More
FungicidesEPA Approves BASF In-Furrow Corn Fungicide
October 22, 2014
Field trials show Xanthion In-furrow fungicide provides more rapid emergence, extended residual control and improved seedling health than untreated crops. Read More
EquipmentAgraScout App Available At No Cost To Universities
October 21, 2014
AgraScout, a fast and easy to use mobile crop scouting app, is now available at no cost to University students, Read More
LegislationNew Farm Bill Program To Provide Relief To Farmers Affe…
October 21, 2014
The USDA has implemented a new Farm Bill initiative that will provide relief to farmers affected by severe weather, including drought. Read More
ManagementGreenfield Scholars Program Aims To Sustain Agronomy Wo…
October 21, 2014
The program encourages talented students to study agronomy, crop and soil sciences while cultivating networks to develop the necessary workforce to sustain the profession. Read More
Paul SchrimpfPrecision Ag: Taking It To The Hill
October 21, 2014
A new coalition took the good news message of precision agriculture to Washington, DC, last month. Read More
ManagementUSDA Awards $18 Million In Small Business Research Gran…
October 21, 2014
The grants will provide high quality, advanced research and development that will lead to technological innovations and solutions for American agriculture. Read More
FertilizerCF Industries Terminates Merger Discussions With Yara I…
October 21, 2014
CF Industries Holdings and Yara International have terminated their discussions regarding a potential merger of equals transaction. Read More
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Ranked A Top 10 Biotech Employer For Third tim…
October 20, 2014
Syngenta ranked in the top 10 among the world’s top biotech employers, according to an annual survey conducted by Science magazine. Read More
CropLife 100Wheat Growers Break Ground For New Facility At Kennebec
October 20, 2014
Wheat Growers has broke ground for a state-of-the-art shuttle loader grain handling, fertilizer and agronomy facility in Kennebec, SD. Read More
FertilizerVerdesian Life Sciences Signs Agreement With Los Alamos…
October 20, 2014
Verdesian Life Sciences has signed a licensing agreement with Los Alamos National Laboratory to develop and market LANL’s latest nitrogen enhancement technology for plants. Read More
MicronutrientsStoller Group Announces Groundbreaking At New Office Bu…
October 20, 2014
Jerry Stoller, founder and president of Stoller Group, announced the groundbreaking at the site of the company’s future headquarters in Read More
Crop InputsBioSafe Systems Opens New Production Facility In Nevada
October 20, 2014
BioSafe Systems has completed construction of a state-of-art production facility in Sparks, NV, for its line of activated peroxygen products. Read More