Explore the use of adjuvants for increasing pesticide effectiveness to efficiently target insects, diseases, and more in agriculture.

Pesticides are an important part of the agriculture industry as there are a host of insects and other arthropods, diseases, and weeds poised to reduce harvests and eat into profits. Using adjuvants for increasing pesticide effectiveness is an important step in ensuring pesticides are successful. Adjuvants allow pesticides to be effective when factors—like environmental conditions, tank-mix incompatibility, and solution pH—would otherwise render pesticides ineffective. A Citrus Industry article summarizes adjuvants and their uses; it’s also worth a continuing education unit (CEU) in the Core category toward the renewal of a restricted-use pesticide license after taking and passing the accompanying test. See a synopsis below.

Adjuvants for Increasing Pesticide Effectiveness

“Surfactants (surface-active agents) are a group of commonly used adjuvants. The chemicals in surfactants improve the pesticide coverage on the plant surface…”

“Spreaders, also known as wetting agents, reduce the surface tension of the pesticide droplet. Spreaders enable more of the pesticide to come in contact with the leaf surface, or in some cases, be more readily absorbed into the leaf…”

“Stickers enhance the effectiveness of pesticides by increasing the adhesion of the pesticide solution to the plant surface. This has many benefits, including improving rain fastness and decreasing runoff during and after application…”

Emulsifying Agents
“Some pesticides are formulated as emulsions, meaning there are two liquids mixed together to form a solution. In this type of formulation, one liquid is suspended in another…”

“Oils are used as adjuvants to increase the amount of coverage from a pesticide application and to aid in pesticide absorption into plant materials and insects…”

Silicone Surfactants
“Silicone surfactants reduce the water surface tension of the pesticide solution…”

Achieving Compatibility
“Other types of adjuvants are used to enhance the effectiveness of the pesticide by mitigating issues related to tank-mixing and application equipment…”

Adjusting Water pH
“Acidifiers and buffers are types of adjuvants that correct problems in the spray tank related to water quality and pH…”

Reducing Foam And Drift
“Some pesticide formulations and mixtures produce excessive foam during mixing and while using an agitator during application. Antifoaming agents are added to the spray tank to decrease the amount of foam produced…”

Find the full article on Adjuvants for Increasing Pesticide Effectiveness and the link to the test here.

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