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

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
Ag Sprayer
AdjuvantsPrecision Laboratories Introduces Intact Xtra For Use With Dicamba-Based Herbicides
June 27, 2016
Precision Laboratories announces the launch of Intact Xtra, an adjuvant designed for applicators who want to maximize spray applications and Read More
Adjuvants loading
AdjuvantsISAA 2016 Highlights Adjuvant Trends
May 31, 2016
Adjuvants can significantly improve the performance of crop protection products. Farmers and formulators enhance the efficacy of sprays by using Read More
Trending Articles
Bayer Monsanto
Crop InputsBayer-Monsanto Mega-Merger: 6 Things You Need To Know
September 14, 2016
Mega mergers have become almost routine in the agricultural industry. Right on the heels of Monday’s news that fertilizer giants Potash Read More
Potash Corp Agrium
Crop InputsAgrium, Potash Corp To Merge To Create $36 Billion Company
September 12, 2016
Canada’s Agrium Inc. and Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc. have agreed to combine in a deal that would create a Read More
Osage Co-op Elevator Osage, IA Finished Building
OpinionAre We Crazy?
September 8, 2016
At some point in the first few months of my employment here at CropLife® magazine, I started getting curious about Read More
ManagementMAGIE 2016 Highlights and Deere Anti-Trust
September 1, 2016
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj discusses the recent Midwest AG Industries Exposition and the Department of Justice’s objection to John Deere Read More
ASMARK 2016 Retailers Live! Tour - CPS
CropLife 100CPS Acquires Texas Retail Operation
August 23, 2016
Crop Production Services (CPS) has acquired the assets of Larry’s Chemical and Spray, Inc., for an undisclosed amount in an Read More
Key Cooperative Marcus Construction Steel Building
Retail FacilitiesMarcus Construction Builds High-Speed Agronomy Center For Key Cooperative
July 7, 2016
Key Cooperative in Grinnell, IA, wanted a state-of-the-art Agronomy Center to better serve its customers. Marcus Construction delivered exactly that. Read More
Latest News
Syngenta Seedcare Institute
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Opens New North America Seedcare Institute In …
September 23, 2016
Syngenta unveiled its new Seedcare Institute in Stanton, MN, during a recent grand opening celebration. More than 150 industry leaders, Read More
StewardshipMonsanto Invests $1.6 Million In System To Quantify Gre…
September 23, 2016
The USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) recently awarded the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and its Soil Health Read More
Pipe rack
LegislationCourt Sides With Ag Retailers On PSM
September 23, 2016
The D.C. Court of Appeals has ruled the Occupational Safety and Health Administration violated the Occupational Safety and Health Act when Read More
ManagementPacific Coast Fertilizer Announces Interest In Longview…
September 22, 2016
Pacific Coast Fertilizer LP (PCF) announced at the Cowlitz Economic Development Council board of directors meeting its interest in developing Read More
Young corn plants in soil
UncategorizedCool Planet Raises Additional $9 Million To Commerciali…
September 22, 2016
Cool Planet has announced the first close of a new financing round to commercialize the company’s Cool Terra Engineered Biocarbon Read More
Crop InputsJim Loar Promoted To President And CEO Of Cool Planet
September 22, 2016
In a move that reflects and reinforces the company’s commitment to the agricultural market, the Cool Planet board of directors Read More
BlendersNorth Dakota Coop Debuts Dry Fertilizer Plant
September 22, 2016
North Central Grain Cooperative has begun operations at a new dry fertilizer plant at its Rolla, ND, site. It is Read More
Crop InputsMonsanto, Bayer Officials Defend Proposed $66 Billion M…
September 21, 2016
Top officials for Monsanto and Bayer defended their proposed $66 billion merger before skeptical senators on Tuesday, insisting that the Read More
ManagementUpcoming Shows & Recent Events
September 19, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about upcoming trade shows and events and review the Mid America CropLife Association Read More
Industry NewsVerdesian Life Sciences Appoints New CEO
September 19, 2016
Verdesian Life Sciences, a plant health and nutrition company, today announced that its board of directors has named Kenneth M. Avery Read More
Corn
Crop InputsEPA Settles With Syngenta For Alleged Multi-Regional Pe…
September 19, 2016
The U.S. EPA has announced a multi-region settlement with Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC (Syngenta) in Greensboro, NC, for alleged violations of Read More
ManagementMerger Mania
September 16, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss this week’s mega-ag mergers of Bayer and Monsanto and Potash and Agrium. Read More
Monsanto sign
Crop InputsMonsanto Ends Up Being A Bargain For Bayer
September 16, 2016
History will say Bayer got a bargain in its $66 billion purchase of Monsanto, writes David Nicklaus, St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Read More
Greg Musson, Gar Tootelian
CropLife 100California Ag Retailer Steps Up To Feed Families Affect…
September 16, 2016
GAR Tootelian, Inc. (GAR) in Reedley, CA, is challenging the Central Valley to help raise enough money and provide 525,000 meals Read More
Crop InputsBayer, Monsanto CEOs Discuss Merger
September 15, 2016
Werner Baumann, Bayer CEO, and Hugh Grant, Monsanto CEO, discuss why they decided to merge their companies. Read More
Corn close up
Crop InputsNY Times: Bayer-Monsanto a Bad Deal for Farmers
September 15, 2016
Via NY Times: Don Halcomb, a 63-year-old farmer in Adairville, KY, is expecting his profit to vanish this year, largely Read More
Werner Baumann, Bayer AG, and Hugh Grant, Monsanto
Crop InputsBayer-Monsanto Merger Creates New Global Ag Giant
September 14, 2016
During the whole of 2016, many of the companies that do business in the agricultural industry have concluded the best Read More
Bayer Monsanto
Crop InputsBayer-Monsanto Mega-Merger: 6 Things You Need To Know
September 14, 2016
Mega mergers have become almost routine in the agricultural industry. Right on the heels of Monday’s news that fertilizer giants Potash Read More