Helena Hosts Weed Science Adjuvant Training for Next Generation of Ag Professionals
Helena Agri-Enterprises, LLC recently hosted over 30 Mississippi State University faculty members and students from the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences and Delta Research and Extension Center for weed science adjuvant training. Held at Helena’s product development and learning center in Memphis, Tennessee, the training program gave tomorrow’s industry leaders an in-depth look at the science behind adjuvant technology and the important role it plays in production agriculture.
“Adjuvant functionality is not widely understood,” says Dr. Michael Kenty, Crop Protection Specialist in Helena’s Southern Business Unit. “The best way to change that is to start with our students. Helena has been at the forefront of the adjuvant market for decades, and we’re excited to share what we’ve learned.”
Helena has long been regarded as the industry leader in adjuvant innovation, dating back to when the market was established in the 1970s. However, agriculture has evolved, making the adjuvant market more complex. Today, weed scientists are grappling with growing herbicide resistance, while new over-the-top products are offering growers even more options. According to Johnnie Roberts, Director of Formulation and Technical Support at Helena, more training can provide some much needed clarity.
“While the scientific understanding about how spray adjuvants impact efficacy and application has increased, we still encounter much confusion on how and when to recommend them. This training leveraged against our more than fifty years of experience developing and applying spray adjuvants. That practical experience makes it easier to understand and predict how this group of products will benefit the use of herbicides,” says Roberts.
Helena believes connecting with universities through programs like adjuvant training will help future researchers address challenging weed control issues. The four-hour adjuvant training program offered participants one-on-one instruction from Helena chemists, live product demonstrations, and interactive learning experiences. Dr. Darrin Dodds, Professor and Department Head of Plant and Soil Sciences at Mississippi State University, says it gave students new insight into adjuvant formulation and functionality that can’t always be learned from a textbook.
“The chance to take what you learn in the classroom and connect it with the real-world is one of the most valuable experiences we can give our students,” says Dr. Dodds. “When you can see where the product is made, talk to the people that work in agriculture every day, it gives you a whole new perspective and appreciation of the technology.”
The weed science adjuvant training program is just one way Helena is investing in the next generation of agriculture professionals. Every year, Helena provides training to college students across the country through the Summer Sales Internship Program, as well as financial support from local scholarship opportunities.