On May 14, 2020, CPDA conducted a webinar for the media titled “Adjuvant Selection Can Make or Break Your Weed Control in 2020,” featuring Joe Gednalske, CPDA Manager of Membership and Value Promotion, and Dr. Bryan Young, professor of Botany and Plant Pathology at Purdue University. Dr. Young has been a frequent speaker at the CPDA Adjuvants & Inerts Conference and is developing the next edition of “The Compendium of Herbicide Adjuvants” expected to be available in late summer or early fall of 2020.

The May 14th webinar focused on the benefits of adjuvants in U.S. crop production and the role played by the CPDA Adjuvant Certification Program in ensuring the validity of adjuvant performance claims, promoting good product stewardship, and establishing scientifically-backed benchmarks by which the integrity of an adjuvant product can be measured.

Joe Gednalske pointed out that CPDA member companies comprise about 90% of the U.S. adjuvant market and that the products they produce are critical to the success of an effective weed control program that reduces the development of resistance. He explained that adjuvant selection can have a huge impact on the performance of herbicides. For example, an application made without the required adjuvant can result in a 30% to 90% reduction in performance, selecting the wrong type of adjuvant can result in a 5% to 50% reduction in performance as well as possible crop injury, and the use of a “good enough” adjuvant versus a  quality grade product can result in a 5% to 25% performance gap. Joe emphasized that with weed resistance proliferating, the improved performance of existing chemistries becomes even more important today than in the past. He noted that most crop protection applications made today have multiple modes of action and include two to four herbicides, each one having different adjuvant requirements. As such, finding the right adjuvant can make a big difference in how even the newest chemistry works.

Joe summarized why it is important to use only a CPDA certified adjuvant:

  • They are evaluated for safety and supported by required toxicological data
  • Adjuvant labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are reviewed by a panel of industry experts.
  • CPDA certified products are required to adhere to significant, scientifically supported standards adopted by ASTM International.
  • Adjuvant claims and ingredients must be validated.
  • With thousands of adjuvants available to choose from, selecting a CPDA Certified Adjuvant is a great way to narrow the search for the best adjuvant.

Joe told the media audience that some 480 pesticide products now carry label language recommending use of a CPDA certified adjuvant and that more manufacturers of pesticides cite a preference for use of a CPDA certified adjuvant with their product.

In his closing remarks, Joe observed that some of the more renown adjuvant researchers, well respected throughout industry and the academic community, have retired in recent years thus leaving a gap in the study of how these products benefit agricultural production. He indicated it is crucial that interest in adjuvant research be renewed and that more weed scientists are needed to carry on this work. To this end, CPDA is collaborating with the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA), registrants, and adjuvant manufacturers with the goal of boosting adjuvant testing and research at agricultural universities.

Dr. Young then offered his thoughts on adjuvants and agreed that there are huge differences in the integrity and performance of these products. He articulated his support of the CPDA Adjuvant Certification Program emphasizing that it brings consistency in chemistry and product performance. Dr. Young stated that companies submitting their adjuvants for CPDA certification do so because they believe in their products and are committed to staying in the market for a considerable length of time. He told the media audience that it is important to optimize herbicide activity through proper adjuvant selection, especially when trying to minimize the potential for herbicide resistance. Dr. Young’s message to ag retailers is to look at CPDA certified adjuvants as the place to start when determining which adjuvant to choose for the application in question. He stressed that the selection of the right adjuvant will protect the grower’s herbicide investment and avoid weed control failure.

Following the webinar, several media outlets published stories about the value of adjuvants in U.S. agricultural production and the role that the CPDA Adjuvant Certification Program plays in helping growers and ag retailers alike choose the right adjuvant for the job at hand. Below are links to several of these stories that were published following the webinar. CPDA would like to thank several members of the Board of Directors for their support that allowed us to engage with FLM Harvest, a public relations firm, in making this media webinar possible.

“Ever think about the adjuvants you use?” Western Farmer-Stockman, Farm Progress, By Willie Vogt, May 27, 2020

“3 Reasons Everyone Should Pay More Attention to Adjuvants,” AgPro, By Margy Eckelkamp, May 19, 2020

“Adjuvants Play Key Role in Weed Control,” Brownfield Ag News for America, By Mark Dorenkamp, May 15, 2020