How Are Adjuvants Used in Agriculture

Pesticide products or pesticide spray mixtures sometimes need a bit of help, and that aid comes in the form of adjuvants. They are added into the mixture in order to limit issues with pesticides, this results in a more effective product. Since they don’t have pesticide-like properties, they don’t need to be registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Plus, most states don’t regulate their distribution.


There are many adjuvant choices that making a selection can be quite the difficult task. Knowing what they do is always a good start.


The first thing to know is that there are two forms of adjuvants: 

-a formulation adjuvant is already part of the pesticide product

-a spray adjuvant is added to the spray tank


Since manufacturers decide what adjuvant they put into their products, the next section will deal with spray adjuvants.


Spray Adjuvant Categories

Each adjuvant performs a specific function, and those include spreading, sticking, buffering, dispersing, emulsifying, and wetting. There are some that reduce foaming, spray drift, volatilization, and evaporation. The functions just mentioned can’t be performed by just one adjuvant, so you will often need to combine in order to produce the desired result.


Spray adjuvants fall into two categories:


Activator adjuvants

These introduce improvements to what a pesticide already does. They generally contribute to better absorption. Nitrogen-based fertilizers, oils, and surfactants belong to this category.


Special purpose adjuvants

These fix issues with a particular product, making it better as a result. Buffering and conditioning agents, compatibility agents, de-foaming agents, drift control agents, and deposition agents belong to this category. All of these alter the physical characteristics of a spray product. Colorants, foam markers, tank cleaners, and suspension agents all reduce application problems.


Choosing the Right Adjuvant

First off, you need to know what you want to out of your product. From there you can list down potential adjuvant choices, which you will narrow down based on preference or any other factor.


On top of that, here are more things you need to consider: 

-read the pesticide label

-use adjuvants that are made for agricultural or horticultural purposes

-stick to a reputable brand or dealer


Another important thing to remember about adjuvants is that they should be used as stated on the label. One adjuvant can perform multiple functions but it won’t solve every single problem associated with a pesticide product. They might not even be necessary sometimes – try and give the pesticide a chance before thinking about adding an adjutant.


Knowledge is important when adding an adjuvant to a product. You have to know what a particular pesticide does before you can add something into it to make it better. Knowing exactly what an adjuvant does can help you find the perfect combination to improve a pesticide product. Being informed is important and knowing the pest you are dealing with, the site where the spray is going to be applied, and the equipment you are going to use will help you pick the right adjuvant




Precision Agronomics is located at 9438 West SR 28 in West Lebanon, IN and is proud to serve: Marshfield, Johnsonville, Foster, Stone Bluff, Bismarck, and the surrounding areas. Contact us today for more information!

adjuvants in agriculture



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