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

MAGIE 2014 ShowStopper
EquipmentJohn Deere Again Wins MAGIE ShowStopper Award
August 25, 2014
For the second consecutive year, John Deere was honored at the Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) for its new R4045 sprayer. Read More
ManagementExpert To Discuss Farmland Value, Rent At Farm Science Review
August 18, 2014
While cropland values in Ohio increased in the past two years, they have remained flat in 2014, declining in some cases, according to an Ohio State University agricultural economist. Read More
EquipmentAdvance Your Technology IQ At MAGIE
August 13, 2014
The Midwest AG Industries Exposition (August 20-21) is the place you need to be to see, study and evaluate how new advances in the equipment, operations, crop protection and fertility sectors can help your business prosper. Read More
HerbicidesScouting Key To Next Season’s Soybean Herbicide Program
August 12, 2014
When growing soybeans, growers need to think ahead to stay one step ahead of weeds. That means examining weed threats and evaluating which herbicides work best. Read More
StewardshipMichigan Agriculture Leaders On Toledo Water Ban: We Want To Be Part Of The Conversation
August 8, 2014
Leaders of Michigan agricultural organizations said Thursday that the government should not have a “knee-jerk reaction” based on last weekend’s water ban in Toledo due to fertilizer run-off in Lake Erie. Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Acquires Lemon Ag Services
August 4, 2014
The acquisition of Lemon Ag fits BRANDT’s aggressive corporate strategy of providing superior agronomic advice and services for customers in central Illinois. Read More

Latest News

CropLife 100Pinnacle Acquires East Kansas Chemical
September 2, 2014
Ranked 82nd on the CropLife 100, East Kansas Chemical will operate as part of Pinnacle's Performance Agriculture brand. Read More
WebinarsWebinars On Demand
September 2, 2014
Register for one of our upcoming Webinars or access our archive of past Webinars to view recordings of presentations that may be of interest to you. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Launches Performance Agriculture Brand
September 2, 2014
Performance Agriculture complements Pinnacle’s existing brands, including Sanders, the company’s flagship farm input retail brand. Read More
Webinars5 Key Benefits Of Attending A Webinar
September 2, 2014
Webinars can provide ag retailers with a convenient option for gaining knowledge on the latest industry issues and solutions. Read More
Crop InputsBASF Is Betting On A Bright Agricultural Future
September 1, 2014
The crop protection products giant is gearing up for a busy time in agriculture by investing in both product production and development over the next couple of years. Read More
Eric SfiligojAn Erie Feeling For Ag
September 1, 2014
Plenty of water issues have been in the news lately, including the continuing drought in California. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Acquires California-Based Retailer
August 29, 2014
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings will acquire Kerman Ag Resources, Inc., which will operate under Pinnacle's Performance Agriculture brand. Read More
Allied Cooperative Grain Plant
ManagementArcadia Co-op To Merge With Allied Cooperative
August 28, 2014
Allied Cooperative has announced that members of Arcadia Co-op voted in favor of a merger with Allied Cooperative, paving the way for the consolidation which will be effective on December 1, 2014. Read More
InsecticidesBioinsecticide VENERATE Now Registered In California
August 27, 2014
Marrone Bio Innovations' VENERATE is a new tool to help California growers control crop-damaging insect pests, fight the development of insect resistance and reduce pesticide residues on fruits and vegetables. Read More
CropLife 100Two Iowa-Based Ag Co-ops To Merge
August 27, 2014
The Board of Directors and management of United Western Coop, Missouri Valley, IA has completed a merger with Heartland Co-op, West Des Moines, IA, effective September 1, 2014. Read More
FertilizerKoch Expands AGROTAIN Nitrogen Stabilizer Portfolio
August 26, 2014
Koch Agronomic Services, LLC has added two new innovative nitrogen stabilizers to the AGROTAIN product family – AGROTAIN ADVANCED and AGROTAIN DRI-­MAXX. Read More
Seed/BiotechDuPont To Build Two Seed Treatment Centers
August 26, 2014
DuPont has announced construction on two state-of-the-art centers dedicated to developing and testing seed treatment formulations, applications and seed handling techniques in an important step toward bringing new solutions to growers. Read More
Seed/BiotechLoveland Products Acquires A Controlling Interest In Ag…
August 26, 2014
Loveland Products, a subsidiary of Agrium , has announced the company has acquired a controlling interest in Agricen, a Dallas-area agricultural biotechnology company delivering biochemical-based products for efficient and sustainable plant nutrition. Read More
StewardshipUp Close Look At The 2014 Environmental Respect Award W…
August 25, 2014
The 2014 Environmental Respect Award winners were honored recently at the 24th annual event in Wilmington, DE. Read More
Eric SfiligojAg Science Rejection Carries Consequences
August 25, 2014
As innuendo and fear dog the regulatory process, agriculture can’t get the new tools it needs to combat world hunger. Read More
LegislationFarmers Dismayed As New Farm Bill Dumps Direct Payments
August 25, 2014
The threatened end of cash subsidies to the nation’s row crop farmers dates back through at least the last two iterations of national agriculture policy legislation. Read More
MAGIE 2014 ShowStopper
EquipmentJohn Deere Again Wins MAGIE ShowStopper Award
August 25, 2014
For the second consecutive year, John Deere was honored at the Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) for its new R4045 sprayer. Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK CEO To Retire
August 22, 2014
GROWMARK chief executive officer Jeff Solberg has announced his retirement effective September 15, 2014. Read More