Turf care managers often ponder the question “Is there a benefit to adding an adjuvant to their herbicide when conducting a low-volume application?” My short answer to that question is YES.

Adjuvants, depending upon the class type, perform a variety of functions including enhanced spreading, sticking, deposition, penetration, and buffering duties when introduced to a spray tank. Tank cleaners, foam markers, drift control agents, AMS, and defoamers are also considered adjuvants in a technical sense.

Low-volume applications are obviously increasing at a significant rate due to the gaining popularity of the ride-on spreader-sprayer units. Applicators are realizing numerous benefits from these units including increased productivity, consistency, accuracy, and reduced applicator fatigue.

Two items rarely mentioned that hinder the performance of low-volume applications are decreased spray coverage and hard water antagonism. A proper surfactant will close this coverage gap quite easily and economically.

Most low-volume application rates are applied at ¼ -1/3 gallons per K. Comparing to traditional application rates of 1-2 gal per K, spray coverage is significantly decreased. Adding a quality adjuvant will assist a low-volume application in performing more like a high-volume application by spreading the water droplet on the leaf surface much like the illustration below. Spray coverage is increased significantly when the water droplet is spread over the leaf surface. Increased spray coverage will improve plant uptake with both foliar and root-absorbed herbicide active chemistries.

Hard water antagonism can also be a major culprit to hinder a successful application due to free calcium carbonate molecules in the “hard water” tying up the herbicide active in the spray tank. Since the herbicide active is more concentrated in a low-volume application, antagonism can become even more pronounced in “hard water” situations resulting in a significant percentage of the herbicide active not being available for plant uptake.

Precision Laboratories LV is an adjuvant designed to provide a combination of spreading, buffering, and sticking properties to a spray mix. LV is an all-in-one adjuvant created solely for low-volume applications hence the name. LV has a very low use rate, and applicators observe excellent results adding only a pint per 100 gallons (.125%). The low use rates of LV literally add no additional cost to an herbicide application. LV provides superior results for herbicide applications by increasing spray coverage, keeping active in the target zone, and buffering water for an economical price.

Please contact your ATS rep for more information!