Spraying pesticides onto crops can be inefficient when there are challenges with the chemical nature of the mixture, difficulty with the technical spray process or unfavorable climatic conditions. Fortunately, the performance of the tank mix can be optimized by adding adjuvants.
These tank mix adjuvants are able to ease the application and to increase the effectiveness of the spray process as well as the bioefficacy of the active ingredients. Therefore, from both an economic and environmental point of view, using such adjuvants is beneficial.
Tank mix adjuvants are usually blends of additives, which are selected for specific functions. Adjuvants are normally classified as either utility adjuvants or activator adjuvants. Utility adjuvants are able to modify the physical properties of the spray mix while activator adjuvants increase the biological activity of the pesticide. In practice, however, these functions are often connected to each other and cannot always be distinguished clearly.
The following sections will highlight the different ways in which adjuvants contribute to the performance of spray mixtures: