Adjuvants perform a variety of tasks, but their contribution to raising crop production performance can be summarised as helping to optimise the efficacy levels of agrochemicals. Different tasks require different adjuvants. Once the circumstances requiring an adjuvant have been assessed, the most appropriate adjuvant, from both a technical and legal perspective, can be selected.
There is a clear technical justification for using adjuvants when:
The pesticide label specifies the need;
You can clearly identify specific problems that will reduce pesticide efficacy;
There is reliable data showing an economic benefit.
Non-ionic wetters, for example, only work on water reducing by surface tension and increasing the spreading properties once the droplet comes into contact with the target. Non-ionic wetters are particularly useful when the target is waxy or hairy. Adjuvant oils have evolved considerably since the use of mineral oils. Today, modern oils are based on Methylated Rapeseed Oils (MSO) as these can be manufactured from renewable resources and to a consistent quality. In the field the inclusion rates are often lower than for mineral oils and their performance is better, delivering a more consistent droplet size and reduced drift.