Delivering Agriculture Technology Through A Successful Partnership: Evonik and Tropfen
Jun. 15, 2021
The close collaboration and partnership between Evonik and Tropfen aims at connecting and enabling the needs of growers in South America. Evonik and Tropfen partnered since 2017 to commercialize BREAK-THRU® and launch BREAK-THRU® MSO MAX adjuvants in Argentina. The successful partnership between Evonik and the Argentina based company Tropfen currently treats more than 7 million hectares. The partnership brings together the core chemistries of Evonik, a Germany based company pioneering in interfacial chemistry with Tropfen’s local expertise and focus on sustainably improving food quality and productivity through efficient agricultural applications. Combining research and development with clear strategy and expansion goals successfully launched novel adjuvants to improve profitability and environmental footprint for the Latin American growers. The successes of Tropfen in Argentina will be expanded into Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia through a partnership with Ager.
BREAK-THRU® is a well-established brand name promoting solutions to improve the performance of agricultural formulations.
It is a non-ionic surfactant (adjuvant) that belongs to the chemical class of organo-modified siloxanes. These agricultural adjuvants produce a phenomenon known as super-spreading, which is defined by the rapid coverage of hydrophobic surfaces such as leaves at a concentration as low as 0.05%.
✔ Improve deposition by preventing droplet bounce-up due to the dramatically lowered surface tension
✔ Permit the reduction of spray volumes by up to 30%
✔ Provide rainfastness to agricultural sprays by increasing the speed of penetration
✔ Facilitate enhanced pesticide uptake even under arid conditions
Figure 1: Comparison of water to BREAK-THRU® on a leaf surface. The leaf on the left depicts a droplet of pure water with static surface tension of 72 mN/m showing poor coverage and potentially roll-off. The leaf on the right depicts a droplet of 0.1% BREAK-THRU® in water with static surface tension of 22 mN/m showing good coverage and unlikely roll-off. This effect is known as super-spreading.
BREAK-THRU® MSO MAX contains methylated seed oil (MSO) and organo-modified siloxane. It is a multifunctional adjuvant that optimizes the efficacy of pesticides due to its ability to improve coverage (spreader), increase penetration and delay droplet drying (humectant).
✔ Excellent toxicological profile
✔ Effective at lower use rates than conventional oil
✔ Improve rainfastness
✔ More efficient applications because it improves the droplet size uniformity and deposition
Figure 2: Comparison of spreading of BREAK-THRU® MSO MAX and three competitor products. The table depicts the initial time when the droplet was placed and 20 minutes after. BREAK-THRU® MSO MAX provides the greatest spread of the four MSO based adjuvants. MSO stands for methylated seed oil. NPE stands for nonylphenol ethoxylate.
Evonik and Tropfen conducted multiple field trials in Argentina with BREAK-THRU® and BREAK-THRU® MSO MAX to assess efficacy.
A soybean field trial was conducted in Argentina to assess the influence of BREAK-THRU® on the performance of glyphosate and 2,4-D amine on Conyza spp. Conyza spp. are a serious weed globally which is primarily driven by herbicide resistance. The economic impact from this weed on soybean yield can be as high as 36% (Trezzi et al. 2014). BREAK-THRU® improves the herbicide control of Conyza relative to the herbicide alone at both a high and lower rate (Figure 3).
Figure 3: Increase in the herbicide glyphosate and 2,4-D amine efficacy with the addition of BREAK-THRU® adjuvant for the control of Conyza spp. The field trial was conducted in Chacabuco, Argentina. Conyza spp. was 10 cm in height at the time of application. DAA is Days After Application. BREAK-THRU® increased efficacy of the herbicide when it was used at the low and high rate.
Two field trials were conducted in Argentina to assess the influence of BREAK-THRU® MSO MAX on the performance herbicides to control weeds and one trial to assess fungicides.
One of the two trials assessed the control of Amaranthus hybridus in soybean with fomesafen. Amaranthus hybridus is a common weed occurring in summer cropping season in Argentina, its persistence is partially due to high seed production and long-lived seedbank (Dellaferrera et al. 2018). BREAK-THRU® MSO MAX at a rate of 250 ml/ha provided improved weed control relative to the herbicide alone. BREAK-THRU® MSO MAX at a rate of 250 ml/ha provide equivalent control at 7 DAA and numerical improvement at both 14 and 30 DAA relative to methylated seed oil (MSO) alone at a rate of 500 ml/ha (Figure 4).
The second herbicide trial assessed the preplant control of Lolium spp. with glyphosate and clethodim. Lolium is a genus with many species that colonize both disturbed and non-disturbed habitats. Herbicides are the main way these weeds are controlled, but many populations have herbicide resistance (Suzukawa et al. 2021). BREAK-THRU® MSO MAX at 200 ml/ha increased weed control comparable to methylated seed oil (MSO) alone at 500 ml/ha (over double the rate) (Figure 5).
A fungicide field trial with wheat to assess the influence of fluxapyroxad + epoxiconazole + pyraclostrobin without adjuvant and compared with BREAK-THRU® MSO MAX and methylated seed oil (MSO) alone. BREAK-THRU® MSO MAX at 250 ml/ha with the fungicides increased yield compared to the fungicides without adjuvant and compared to the fungicides with methylated seed oil (MSO) alone at 300 ml/ha (Figure 6).
Figure 4: Increase in the herbicide fomesafen efficacy with the addition of BREAK-THRU® MSO MAX adjuvant for the control of Amaranthus hybridus. The field trial was conducted in Argentina. DAA is Days After Application.
BREAK-THRU® MSO MAX increased weed control relative to fomesafen alone 7 DAA and numerically improved weed control 14 and 30 DAA compared to methylated seed oil alone at double the rate.
Figure 5: Increase in the herbicide clethodim and glyphosate efficacy with the addition of BREAK-THRU® MSO MAX adjuvant for the control of Lolium spp. in spring before planting. The field trial was conducted in Argentina. DAA is Days After Application.
BREAK-THRU® MSO MAX (200 ml/ha) increased weed control comparable to methylated seed oil alone (500 ml/ha) over double the rate.
Figure 6: Increase in yield with the fungicide: fluxapyroxad + epoxiconazole + pyraclostrobin (F+E+P) with the addition of BREAK-THRU® MSO MAX adjuvant. The field Trial was conducted in Pergamino, Argentina. DAA is Days After Application. BREAK-THRU® MSO MAX increased yield by 322 Kg/ha compared to fungicide without adjuvant. In addition, BREAK-THRU® MSO MAX increased yield numerically compared to fungicide and methylated seed oil.
Through the partnership between Evonik and Tropfen two successful adjuvants have been commercialized. Both companies will continue to bring new Evonik technologies to the market. The data from laboratory and field trials demonstrate the advantage of low use rate and high efficacy of these products when used with agricultural inputs. In the near future these products will be made available to growers in Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia through a partnership with Ager.
Dellaferrera I, Cortés E, Panigo E, De Prado R, , Christoffoleti P, Perreta M . 2018. First report of Amaranthus hybridus with multiple resistance to 2,4-D, dicamba, and glyphosate. Agronomy 8, 140. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy8080140.
Suzukawa AK, Bobadilla LK, Mallory-Smith C, Brunharo CACG. 2021. Non-target-site resistance in Lolium spp. Globally: A review. Front Plant Sci. 11: Article number 609209.
Trezzi MM, Vidal RA, Patel F, Miotto E, Debastiani F Jr, Balbinot AA, Mosquen R Jr. 2014. Impact of Conyza bonariensis density and establishment period on soybean grain yield, yield components and economic threshold. Weed Research 55: 34-41.
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