Benjamin Langendorf, Ph.D.
Application Development Engineer for Agriculture at Momentive
A Legacy of Trusted Performance
Today, farmers across the world are expected to grow more food in a more sustainable manner by using effective agricultural treatments with optimized resources utilization. It’s challenging to balance all these into one equation to come up with a solution – adjuvants are a key part of it.
With more than 40 years of expertise in the field, Momentive is a global leader in agricultural adjuvants, and since pioneering the first organosilicone super spreader (Silwet L-77™) for agriculture in 1985, the company continues its legacy of innovation, still developing a wide range of proprietary technologies and sustainable solutions (see Figure 1).
Figure 1. Adjuvants are a key part of the solution at different stages of the equation to get agricultural treatments exactly where they are needed.
Whether for tank-mix or in-can formulations, the Silwet™ family of adjuvants have a reputation for high-quality, powerful performance, helping to improve spray coverage, to enhance spray deposition, to maximize penetration, to reduce drift, and to optimize soil wetting.
Momentive works with farmers and smallholders worldwide to achieve superior performance from their agrochemical treatments and to meet the demands of the future – improving crop yields, increasing productivity, and enabling sustainable, profitable growth.
How Silwet Adjuvants Work and The Benefits of Using Them
The job performed by an adjuvant can be easily explained in three simple steps – stick, spread, and penetrate. How well they perform each step is what is going to differentiate them between a conventional and a high-performance adjuvant, such as Silwet.
Based on organosilicone chemistry, high quality Silwet adjuvants provide levels of deposition, spreading and penetration beyond what can be typically achieved with conventional adjuvants. This is tied to their unique structure and low levels of both equilibrium and dynamic surface tension.
By improving deposition to the plant surface and offering up to 10 times more spreading than conventional spreaders, Silwet can provide better and uniform coverage (see Figure 2). This will help increase the effectiveness of treatments for better pest and disease control. Among other benefits, they allow reduced water usage and reduced wasted agrochemicals in traditional ground applications, allowing farmers to cover more hectares per tank. They can also help boost coverage in ultra-low volume applications, such as aerial and drone spray applications. Together, leading to higher crop yields and saving time, labor, and cost.
Figure 2. Superspreading in action. When compared to conventional adjuvants (left), Silwet can offer up to 10 times more spreading (right).
Additionally, by enabling enhanced penetration of systemic pesticides, they minimize the risk of treatment loss if rain happens shortly after application (rainfastness), thereby helping to reduce treatment waste and allowing superior pest and disease control, offering sustainable solutions to challenges faced by farmers every day.
Apart from these benefits, Silwet has a broad portfolio tailored for a wide range of crops, climates and treatments and is easy to use, offering high compatibility, which permits an easy mix with a broad range of agrochemicals, including vegetable and mineral oils. Momentive can also offer biodegradable adjuvants; and OMRI, IBD, KIWA, and Ecocert listed or certified products, bringing superior adjuvant performance to organic farming.
Additional treatment or crop benefits that help growers solve unique challenges that can come with varying weather or spray conditions also include, but are not limited to, reduced spray-drift, pH stability for in-can use, low phytotoxicity, and spray flexibility;
Silwet Adjuvants – More Than Just Products
In addition to developing new technologies, Momentive’s experts work closely with customers to develop innovative, customized, and differentiated products and formulations utilizing state-of-the-art technology labs around the world, maximizing the potential of adjuvants, designed for a wide range of crops and environments. As well, agronomists and application specialists provide hands-on, in-field training and technical sales support to help increase the success of our partners’ sales staff.
For consistent supply and worldwide availability, Momentive counts on a series of ISO-certified and advanced manufacturing facilities, and on several customer service centers spread around the world, ensuring its global footprint.
Momentive’s continued investments in dedicated resources for regulatory and toxicology support, as well as product certification needs, and in marketing and promotion support helps formulators and distributors expand their reach and increase profits, demonstrating commitment to support customers at every step of the way.
Latest Innovations Towards Recent Trends and More Sustainable Solutions
Momentive’s continued investment in innovation ensure its adjuvants remain among the most advanced on the market. Apart from offering a selection of multifunctional spreaders with added benefits, the company is also looking towards recent trends in application and more sustainable solutions to better enable the future of agriculture.
For instance, the compatibility of Silwet adjuvants with biologicals is a significant advantage for those looking to reduce their dependence on more traditional treatments. As some biologicals can use comparable delivery methods and carry out similar functions when compared to synthetic agrochemicals, thus sharing the same challenges, Momentive’s knowledge and experience in this area can be an asset for customers who wish to explore their use to manage pests and diseases in their crops.
Figure 3. Drone spray application in São José dos Campos, Brazil with Silwet adjuvants in action to help overcome the challenges posed by this method.
As well, the use of drone as agricultural sprayers is a growing trend in technology that offers farmers many benefits (see Figure 3). It is safer, less labor intensive, more precise and they can also reduce water use. Despite these added benefits, drone use can negatively affect coverage and canopy penetration, while also increasing the drift potential. To overcome these challenges, Momentive has designed high-performance organosilicone adjuvants that can be used in ultra-low spray volumes that can solve these negative effects and enhance treatment efficiency.
This article was published in AgroPages '2023 Formulation & Adjuvant Technology ' magazine published this May.
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