Experts Recommend Adjuvants to Close Gaps in Herbicide Performance
Helena Agri-Enterprises is encouraging growers to make adjuvant technology a standard part of weed control programs in 2023, starting now. Soil deposition, off-target drift, and tank-mix compatibility are three, pivotal barriers to success in pre-emergence applications. Pairing soil-applied, residual chemistries with the multi-functional adjuvant Grounded® can improve herbicide efficacy up front and help growers save time and money as the season progresses.
“When you’re trying to extend the length of those residual herbicides, small adjustments in the tank can make all the difference,” says Austin Anderson, Brand Manager of Adjuvants with Helena.
Pre-emergence herbicides are most effective in the upper part of the soil profile where weed seed is germinating. Anderson says growers can maximize weed seed-herbicide contact and reduce leaching with the help of a quality soil deposition aid. Dr. Michael Kenty, a Product Specialist with Helena based in Tennessee, says it’s a necessary step to avoid an additional trip across the field due to poor herbicide performance, especially in certain tank mixes.
“Now, with resistance management, a lot of the old chemistries are coming back,” says Dr. Michael Kenty. “Most of those are very water soluble.”
According to Dr. Kenty, the challenge with solubility is the herbicide’s ability to move out of the weed germination zone as it continues to receive moisture. Mere inches of movement down into the soil places the herbicide below the weed seed. Investing in the right adjuvant to keep the herbicide in place results in a higher rate of control.
No matter the herbicide, growers also have to be mindful of drift. Adjuvants with drift reduction technology can reduce driftable fines to create a more uniform spray that stays on target. However, Anderson says the complexity of early-season applications requires more than just drift and deposition. Compatibility is equally important.
“There are so many different mixes of chemicals that can go out,” says Anderson. “The key is to keep usability and efficiency top of mind by making sure everything in the tank works together.”
He recommends using Grounded, a "truly multi-functional," oil-based adjuvant from Helena. Grounded has been applied on more than 80 million acres over the past two decades. It remains a mainstay in herbicide applications because of its consistent ability to optimize the delivery and performance of spray applications. As part of a weed management program, Grounded improves deposition and adsorption, helps prevent active ingredient leaching, reduces off-target movement and driftable fines, improves tank mixing, and helps with cleanout when the job is done.
Growers are encouraged to reach out to their local Helena retailer to receive custom adjuvant recommendations for the season. To hear more about Grounded from Austin Anderson and Dr. Michael Kenty, listen to Episode 27 of the FieldLink podcast, available on YouTube and all major podcast platforms.