Inside Every Successful Tank Mix, There's An Adjuvant
As 2020 planting continues across the United States, have you taken a moment to consider how adjuvant selection will impact pesticide performance this season? If you’re thinking, “I don’t need to use an adjuvant,” you’re not alone. Belief in the use of adjuvants has changed over the years, especially since the invention of co-formulation systems containing “in-can” adjuvants. Many farmers believe they don’t need another adjuvant in the tank, but this is a potentially costly mistake. We’ve known for decades that top-quality adjuvants have the power to double pesticide effectiveness! This fact remains despite advancements in pesticide technologies. Today, as the desire to do more with less increases, adding the right adjuvant to your tank mix can make all the difference in your results.
To understand adjuvant selection, let’s start with water. After all, water is the most commonly used pesticide application carrier. Water offers minimal droplet coverage, and over time, declining usage and lower spray volumes have reduced it even more. This is a nightmare for things like translocated pesticides because their active ingredients need to effectively move to and sufficiently accumulate at a site of action. That’s where using a non-ionic, spreader-type adjuvant like Induce can really go the distance. Its free fatty acid formulation not only lowers droplet tension, which increases pesticide coverage, but it also slows the evaporation rate, allowing for longer absorption times.
Considering pesticides must come in contact with the pest in order to be effective, deposition also plays an important role. While that seems like an obvious statement, it’s something we often take for granted. Oil-based adjuvants not only enhance deposition and reduce drift, but they also foam less. While there’s been a lot of renewed interest in this technology recently, Helena introduced its oil-based adjuvant, Grounded, nearly 25 years ago. Over the past two decades, Grounded has helped farmers enhance deposition and prevent movement and subsequent loss of actives from leaching. It has also proven to improve spray pattern uniformity, minimize sediment build up in spray tanks, and even improve deposition through trash and no-till.
Adjuvants with sticking properties provide even further assistance by enhancing spray deposit adherence to the target pest. They increase a droplet’s longevity by providing it with resistance to time, wind, water and mechanical or chemical action. However, many sticker adjuvant formulations can tie up systemic pesticides and cause excessive sticking to both plant surfaces, which can cause application and active ingredient performance problems, and tank walls. This means a longer tank clean out time and increased chance of cross-contamination. Cohere, a film-free and both wax- and water-soluble adjuvant, was designed with sticking properties that are obtained by using components that dissolve in the wax surface of plants. Cohere also improves systemic pesticide uptake, resists UV degradation, doesn’t require sunlight time to set the solution, and has the spreading qualities of a non-ionic surfactant.
A very smart man once said adjuvants do different things with different products in different applications. When it comes to needing multiple adjuvants to best enhance pesticide performance, at Helena, we want to make life easier by providing multiple adjuvant functions in one jug with products like Zaar. Zaar, an MSO-based adjuvant that provides water conditioning, pH reduction, buffering, and herbicide activation, is a multifunctional adjuvant that really has the ability to help take out some of the guess work and increase your application efficiency.
You invest a lot in your spray applications every season, and you expect a lot in return. That’s why finding the right adjuvant for your tank mix is so important. Contact your Helena representative for more information.
- Katie Miesse, Brand Manager, Helena Adjuvants