Choose the Right Adjuvant for the Job

May 09, 2022


Choose the right adjuvant to improve herbicide effectiveness.
Just as it’s important to choose the best herbicide for the weeds to be controlled, it’s also important to choose the right surfactant (i.e., type of adjuvant) for the specific situation.
 
“Adjuvants are designed to make the herbicide work better,” said Don Lamker, Federated agronomy sales rep serving Rush City and Ogilvie. The adjuvant doesn’t help control the weeds; it helps the herbicide to do its job better.
 
One herbicide application can require more than one type of adjuvant mixed with the herbicide. Lamker noted the four types of adjuvants to consider when applying herbicides on corn.
 
  1. Nonionic surfactant. This adjuvant helps raise the water’s pH and it helps soften hard water. It helps herbicides “do a better job,” said Lamker, and is “more effective.”
  2. Spray utility. This type of product that helps reduce drift; it keeps the herbicide on target. This product could also be a water conditioner; some pesticides have a lot of foam, a spray utility type of adjuvant can serve as a defoamer.
  3. Oil based. Adjuvants of this type are for herbicides that need an oil-based carrier, a crop oil. These products make the herbicide “hotter,” more active.
  4. Sticker. This type of adjuvant helps the herbicide and the water stick to the leaf, “which is where it needs to be,” said Lamker. It keeps the herbicide from ending up on the ground, since some herbicides enter the weed through the leaf.
 
Most of the products Federated recommends fall into one of these four categories.
 
Stay Down® - anti-drift, anti-foam, water conditioner
Array® - canopy penetrant, water conditioner, anti-foam
Plexus® - surfactant, emulsifier to help herbicide enter plants
Accelerator™ - multiple-adjuvant blend; water conditioner, anti-drift, anti-foam
Enliven® - water softener, anti-foam, and YieldBurst® Technology (which basically “tells plants to grow,” said Lamker)
           
Talk to your Federated Agronomist to learn more about these products as pre-emerge applications soon hit the fields.

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