UK-based agronomy company Agrovista
is accelerating sales of its Discovery range of spray application aids in Europe and beyond, building on its multi-million pound domestic market.
Over the past decade the company has developed and launched several new products under the Discovery brand, mainly in the UK and north-west Europe.
More recently it has expanded into central Europe, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey and the company hopes that growers in France and South Africa will soon benefit from its sector-leading expertise.
The Discovery range is designed to improve the performance of plant protection products. Pesticide efficacy can be reduced by several factors, including poor water quality, poor application as well as inadequate coverage, retention and uptake on the target surface. By overcoming these challenges, Discovery products improve the level of control and increase yields.
Key products in the target geographical regions include Companion Gold, a multi-function adjuvant and pod sealant particularly suitable for use with glyphosate, Remix, a residual herbicide enhancer and Velocity, which improves fungicide application and efficacy across a range of crops.
“Discovery products are an increasingly important part of Agrovista’s business, and these three in particular are expected to underpin significant export sales growth over the next five years,” says Peter McDonald, Agrovista’s Head of Commercial Strategy & Discovery Europe.
“Many leading UK growers use Discovery products to maximize the potential of their agrochemical applications. We have also had a presence for some 10 years in north-west Europe, and two to five years in the target countries. European revenues have the capacity to be five times that of the UK, perhaps more in the longer term.
“We have continued to build our presence across Europe, and have recently taken very sizeable orders in Kazakhstan and Russia. We are also now working with two 50,000+ hectare Agriholdings in Eastern Europe.
“Velocity is now awaiting registration in France, which we hope will happen in the summer, and we plan to submit Companion Gold and Velocity in South Africa, where both products have shown significant benefits on corn and soya bean crops.”
Regardless of where they farm, growers face tight profit margins so need to make use of every tool in the box to achieve maximum yields and returns. “Our Discovery range can deliver significant increases in yield for a relatively modest outlay,” says McDonald.
As legislation tightens and pest, weed and disease resistances increase, some active ingredients will disappear while others will be subjected to tighter dose restrictions. “This strengthens the case for using Discovery products – growers need to extract maximum performance from remaining chemistry,” says McDonald.
Discovery products are manufactured by Agrovista UK, which can trace its roots back 60 years. The business is part of the international Marubeni Corporation.
“We work very closely with Marubeni in these new markets,” McDonald says. “Prospective clients will know we are a reliable and trusted partner they will be comfortable doing business with.”
Each Discovery product undergoes a comprehensive pan-European R&D program, supported by high quality trials conducted by leading research organizations and universities, agrochemical manufacturers and Agrovista research and development.
“A key area of our adjuvant R&D focuses on improving application efficacy,” McDonald says. “The trials encompass a wide range of soil types and climates as well as key crops for different areas, such as cereals, maize, oilseeds, pulses, sugar beet, sunflowers and potatoes.”
To ensure maximum performance, Agrovista has designed and developed its own self-propelled sprayers, enabling researchers to test products and methodology under replicated farm conditions.
“We are able to conduct replicated trials that investigate conventional and exploratory application techniques and the interaction with both pesticide and adjuvant.”
In addition, Agrovista works in conjunction with the world-renowned Silsoe Spray Applications Unit to optimize practical spray advice.
Understanding spray application aids and additives
Discovery products have a role to play throughout the spray application process:
• Anti foam – reduce excessive foaming by physically bursting air bubbles and reducing surface tension.
• pH buffers –counter high pH in the spray solution that can lead to rapid breakdown (alkaline hydrolysis) of the active ingredient.
• Water conditioners – increase efficacy by deactivating calcium and magnesium cations found in hard water that react with certain pesticides (eg glyphosate).
• Improve spray application by reducing the number of fine spray droplets (under 100 microns) that are prone to drift
Improve coverage by reducing droplet surface tension, lessening bounce and run off from the leaf surface. Better uptake through the leaf’s outer wax layers and increased adhesion to the leaf surface, improving rainfastness and weathering of the spray droplet.
Reduce spray turbulence beneath the boom when applying pre- or early post-emergence residual herbicides, improving evenness of spray deposition on soil surface.
Key Discovery products
– multi-function adjuvant and pod sealant
The perfect partner for glyphosate, Companion Gold can also be used as a pod sealant in oilseed rape and legumes.
This multi-function adjuvant is a tallow-amine-free formulation containing a blend of drift-reducing polyacrylamide polymers that offer class-leading spray drift control.
It contains three types of pH buffers and water conditioners plus antifoam agents to ease sprayer filling and surfactants to improve leaf coverage.
Companion Gold has been proven over many years to significantly enhance the performance of glyphosate.
– residual herbicide enhancer
Designed specifically to improve the performance of residual herbicides, Remix contains a unique blend of highly refined paraffinic oil, hexahydric alcohol ethoxylates and long-chain fatty acids.
The product reduces spray drift and enhances spray patterns and deposition, ensuring the soil surface is evenly coated. Remix also increases the adsorption to soil particles, retaining the herbicide in the upper soil layer. This improves crop safety, weed control and yield.
Over 10 years of Agrovista trials, the addition of Remix to a residual herbicide stack improved black-grass control by 11%.
– better disease control
Velocity is designed to improve fungicide application and efficacy in a range of crops. It lowers the surface tension of the spray droplet, which reduces bounce and shatter meaning more spray is retained on the leaf.
Organosilicone surfactants ensure complete coverage of the leaf surface, ensuring fungicides are evenly coated to maximize protection against foliar disease, even at lower volumes and higher forward speeds.
Fatty acid methyl esters improve penetration and uptake of fungicide though the outer water-repellent waxy layers of the leaves.
Trials carried out by Agrovista in 2019 at Ilminster, Somerset, UK showed the marked impact that Velocity can have on winter wheat yields. Applying it with a GS39 three-way fungicide application at GS39 resulted in an average yield uplift of 0.88t/ha compared to the fungicides alone (Figure 1).
Figure 1. UK Results Velocity at T2 – yield increase
This builds on earlier pan-European evidence from eight fully replicated trials that showed adding Velocity can reduce fusarium levels by half, compared with straight fungicide, when applied at the key early flowering spray timing.
* For further details on Agrovista’s Discovery range, please go to www.discovery-eu.com
Please use author contact details to obtain a user name and password.
• Spray application aids
• Tank-mixed spray additives and adjuvants
• Designed to enhance efficacy of plant protection products
• Targeted formulations, focused by pesticide requirement
• Improved spray application
• Supported by pan-European R&D program
• Comprehensive efficacy data to support use
• Made in Britain
Agrovista UK Limited is a leading supplier of agronomy advice, seed, crop protection products and precision farming services. Working alongside the arable, fruit, vegetable, horticultural and amenity sectors, Agrovista is committed to helping customers manage their businesses more efficiently and more profitably.
Agrovista was established more than 60 years ago and actively practices values of honesty, integrity and fairness across all aspects of the business, whilst taking pride in an innovative approach to research and development. It also embraces care for the wider environment, with an understanding of the important role now played by all those who manage the land.
The business is part of leading European organization Agrovista BV, and overseen by international parent company, Marubeni Corporation. This makes Agrovista a significant supplier of plant protection inputs and advice, with more than 20% of the UK crop protection market. See more at:www.agrovista.co.uk
This article will be published in AgroPages '2020 Formulation & Adjuvant Technology ' magazine to be published this May.
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