Effective Weed Control Programs Include Adjuvants
How farmers choose to handle supply shortages and price increases will impact more than just herbicide selection this year. It’ll also dictate what else goes into the tank, specifically the adjuvants they need to make herbicides perform at their best. In order for any pesticide to work, it must come in contact with the pest, enter or be taken up by the pest, translocate to the site of action within the pest, and accumulate at the site of action in sufficient quantities to kill the pest. Adjuvants help pesticides accomplish each step.
Adjuvants are defined as any material added to a tank mix to aid or modify the action of an agrichemical or the physical characteristics of the mixture. They help farmers meet legal requirements while enhancing pesticide activity and minimizing or eliminating spray application problems. Adjuvants work in the following ways:
- Water Conditioning: improve water quality by managing variables that can negatively impact pesticide performance such as pH, hard water, carbonates/bicarbonates and more
- Drift Reduction: keep the pesticide on target
- Deposition: help deliver the pesticide through the canopy
- Reduce Surface Tension: improve spreading and coverage
- Absorption/Penetration: improve uptake
- Retention: reduce evaporation
- Solubility: ensure the pesticide goes into solution in order to work
In addition to function, adjuvants also vary in formulation, which makes them more favorable to certain tank mixes. That’s why it’s important to first know the mode of action (MOA) of your herbicide(s) before choosing adjuvants. This year, it’s also important to have more than one back-up plan in place in case your first pesticide choice isn’t available. The one thing that is certain is the ability of adjuvants to improve the efficacy of pesticides. So whatever herbicides you use this season, make sure you get your money’s worth with the right adjuvants in the tank. Contact your local Helena representative to create your weed control program today. For more tips, read the rest of our FieldLink series on adjuvants, covering drift management and water quality.