Atplus™ DRT-EPS, OMRI-listed adjuvant from Croda Crop Care, enhances delivery and biological efficacy of active ingredients
May. 21, 2020
Dr Neil Stainton
Market Insights Manager
Croda Crop Care
1) Could you please introduce the benefits of your recently OMRI-listed product? How does the product work?
Atplus™ DRT-EPS is a new tank mix adjuvant product, combining the benefits of adjuvancy with improved spray quality and drift control in a single product. This latest addition to Croda’s range of Crop Care adjuvants is OMRI Listed, recognising its suitability for use in certified organic food production in accordance with the USDA National Organic Program.
Atplus DRT-EPS, a non-ionic surfactant (NIS), has been shown to improve spray retention, wetting and spreading, enhancing the delivery and biological efficacy of a range of active ingredients. One of the outstanding features of the product is that, unlike typical surfactants, Atplus DRT-EPS provides enhanced adjuvancy performance without an adverse effect on spray quality. Whilst many surfactants reduce spray droplet size, resulting in an increase in driftable fine particles or ‘fines’, Atplus DRT-EPS enables improved spray quality and droplet delivery across a range of nozzle types and spray pressures.
As a multi-functional tank mix adjuvant, Atplus DRT-EPS delivers improved product performance with less product waste, reduction in spray drift and a lower risk of damage to surrounding habitats, providing both economic and environmental benefits.
2) How do you see the market potential of your organic adjuvant?
Atplus DRT-EPS is the most recent addition to a list of 15 OMRI Listed products and a total of around 100 Croda Crop Care inert ingredients suitable for use in accordance with the USDA National Organic Program. In developing this growing family of products, Croda recognises the rising consumer demand and commercial interest in organic food production, respecting the need to preserve biological diversity and the responsible use of natural resources.
As part of Croda’s commitment to be Climate, Land and People Positive by 2030, these products contribute towards our stated goals of increasing crop yields whilst reducing overall carbon emissions. In line with UN Sustainable Development Goals (specifically SDG 2 - Zero Hunger, SDG 14 – Life below Water and SDG 15 – Life on Land), we believe that they will have a meaningful impact on meeting these ambitious targets.
3) What obstacles did your company experience when trying to bring your product to a new market? How did you tackle them?
Working closely with our customers, Croda identified an unmet need to improve spray quality and manage drift control whilst at the same time maintaining effective active ingredient delivery. Although it is well known that spray nozzle selection and spray pressure affect droplet size and spray pattern distribution, the influence of spray composition, including the role of tank mix adjuvants, must also be taken into account to deliver overall spray quality and adjuvancy benefits.
Working as a multidisciplinary group, the project team developed a number of formulations for evaluation. Spray quality testing was carried out in a custom-built wind tunnel using a range of analytical methods, including high speed imaging and laser diffraction, to build up a thorough understanding of individual droplet and overall spray pattern performance. Laboratory testing was used to characterise adjuvancy performance, including spray retention, wetting and spreading against a series of benchmark controls. Greenhouse trials were carried out with relevant active ingredient formulations to determine biological efficacy.
The resulting product, Atplus DRT-EPS, a tank mix adjuvant combining the benefits of a non-ionic surfactant with an effective spray quality control agent, was brought to market in early 2020.
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