After two highly successful decades building a multi-million pound market around its range of Discovery spray application aids in the UK, agronomy company Agrovista
is using its sector-leading expertise to accelerate its marketing drive into continental Europe.
Target regions include Central Europe, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey, which have the potential to greatly increase company revenues, says Peter McDonald, Agrovista’s Head of Commercial Strategy & Discovery Europe.
“Discovery products are an increasingly important part of Agrovista’s business, and the brand has the potential to become very significant.
“These application aids improve the performance of plant protection products. Pesticide efficacy is reduced by water quality, poor application and inadequate coverage, retention and uptake on the target surface. Discovery products overcome these challenges, improving the level of control and increasing yields.”
Many leading UK growers now use Discovery products to maximize the potential of their agrochemical applications. McDonald believes farmers in the target regions will soon be following suit.
“We have 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.
“Regardless of where they farm, growers are facing tight profit margins. They need to make use of every tool in the box to help them achieve maximum yields and returns.”
Figure 1. Agrovista's Discovery products are trialled extensively across Europe
Comprehensive trials across continental Europe have demonstrated the value of Discovery products in improving the efficacy of plant protection products (Figure 1), underpinning findings from up to two decades of research work and commercial use in the UK and, more recently, northwest Europe.
“By enhancing the effects of agrochemical products, our Discovery range can deliver significant increases in yield for a relatively modest outlay,” noted McDonald.
“We believe they offer significant benefits at any time, and particularly when returns are being squeezed. Growers don’t have to take our word for it – they can see the impressive results the Discovery range has achieved in trials. These products are proven across a range of crops and climates.”
As legislation tightens and pest, weed and disease resistance increases, 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,” said McDonald.
Three products are spearheading the European campaign. Companion Gold, the most popular spray application aid in the UK, is a multi-functional adjuvant and pod sealant most often used with glyphosate. Remix is an additive that improves the performance of residual herbicides and Velocity is designed to improve the coverage and uptake of fungicides (see panel).
“Each Discovery product has completed a multi-year pan-European R&D screen to ensure efficacy,” said McDonald. “This comprises laboratory studies and high quality replicated field trials across a wide range of geographical locations, soil types, climatic conditions and crops. Physical chemical, environmental and regulatory studies are completed to ensure consistent product performance.
“We also put great emphasis on conducting quality trials with our distribution partners and respected research organizations in each country we market. And our ground-breaking spray application trials explore the relationship between plant protection product, application technique and tank mix additive, giving a unique insight into performance on farms.”
Discovery products are manufactured by Agrovista UK, which can trace its roots back 60 years. The business is part of Agrovista BV, a leading European organization in the field, itself part of the international Marubeni Corporation, which has representative offices and is well known in all of the countries where Agrovista is looking to expand.
“We work very closely with Marubeni in these new markets,” he added. “Most people will not have heard of Agrovista, but being part of Marubeni, prospective clients will know we are a reliable and trusted partner they will be comfortable doing business with.”
Each Discovery product is put through a multi-year pan-European R&D screen to ensure they perform to the optimum in all market locations.
Tests include laboratory studies and high-quality trials conducted at sites throughout Europe that 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 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.
Research is carried out and evaluated by Agrovista’s own trials team, universities, government research institutes and leading contract trials organizations.
In addition, Agrovista works in conjunction with the world-renowned Silsoe Spray Applications Unit to optimize practical spray advice.
• Spray application aids
• Tank-mixed spray additives and adjuvants
• Designed to enhance efficacy of plant protection products
• Targeted formulations, focused by pesticide requirements
• Improved spray application
• Supported by pan-European R&D program
• Comprehensive efficacy data to support use
Key Discovery products
Companion Gold is the perfect partner for glyphosate and 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, pH buffers, water conditioners, antifoam agents and humectants.
Companion Gold has been proven over many years to significantly enhance the performance of glyphosate. More recent trials suggest those benefits could be even greater when using the new tallow-amine-free glyphosate formulations, which Agrovista trials suggest may be less effective at controlling grass weeds under challenging timings.
is designed specifically to enhance the performance of residual herbicides. It contains a unique blend of highly refined paraffinic oil, hexahydric alcohol ethoxylates and long-chain fatty acids.
The product reduces spray drift, ensures even deposition of the spray over the soil surface and increases adsorption to soil particles, reducing crop effects while increasing residual weed control.
Over the past 10 years, the addition of Remix to a residual herbicide stack has improved black-grass control by 11% in Agrovista trials.
is designed to enhance fungicide application and efficacy in a range of crops. It also reduces spray drift, ensuring accurate spray deposition over the target surface.
Organosilicone surfactants ensure complete coverage, while humectants slow droplet drying. Fatty acid methyl esters improve penetration though the outer waxy layers of the leaves.
Results from eight fully replicated trials across Europe over a four-year period using the label dose have shown that adding Velocity can reduce fusarium levels by half, compared with straight fungicide when applied at the key early flowering spray timing.
Adding Velocity also allows spray volumes to be halved in certain situations without loss of efficacy.
* For further details on Agrovista’s Discovery range, please go to www.discovery-eu.com
Agrovista UK Limited is one of the leading advice and supply companies in British agriculture and provides specialist agronomy, technology and crop protection products to arable, vegetable, fruit, amenity and specialist horticultural growers.
Agrovista’s roots were firmly established over 60 years ago, yet the company still maintains its traditional values of professionalism, cutting edge technology, and customer service.
The business is part of Agrovista BV, a leading European organisation in the field, itself part of the international Marubeni Corporation. This makes Agrovista UK a significant UK supplier of crop protection inputs and advice, with over 20% of the crop protection market.
Agrovista UK is totally committed to providing unrivalled value and innovative solutions for British farmers, both now and in the future. This commitment is focused on customer service, research driven advice and technical innovation. It relies strongly on the dedication, expertise and professionalism of all employees as well as the company’s many global and local suppliers. It also embraces care for the wider countryside with an understanding of the politically important environmental role now played by farmers.
Peter McDonald, Head of Commercial Strategy & Discovery Europe, Agrovista
Tel: 07500 976238