Sludge on the bottom of a spray tank is an applicator’s nightmare. It often means the products weren’t added in the right order, the water was too cold or mixing was inadequate. Whatever the cause, a gloppy tank mix is impossible to apply properly and a mess to clean out after spraying.
Solving the Problem
Solving this common tank-mix problem was the impetus behind DuPont™ TotalSol® soluble granule technology. “We were looking for a better formulation — one that would dissolve completely — and that’s what these soluble granules do,” explains Larry Gaultney, senior engineering associate with the DuPont application technology team.
Even Application, Better Absorption
Using a herbicide with TotalSol® soluble granules means the product will be more evenly applied and more readily absorbed by weeds. The result is dependable, consistent weed control over a range of environmental conditions.
“All the active ingredient is delivered to the target, rather than some of it getting tied up in the tank,” says Gaultney. TotalSol® soluble granule technology is available in a number of DuPont cereals herbicides, including DuPont™ Affinity® BroadSpec, Affinity® TankMix, Agility® SG , Ally® Extra SG , Express® and Harmony® Extra SG herbicides, as well as DuPont™ FirstShot® SG burndown herbicide.
The number one benefit of this formulation is that it makes it easier to clean out the sprayer, says Gaultney. “Thorough cleanout is especially important when you’re spraying cereal grains, since you’re dealing with parts per million of active ingredient. If there are traces of product left in the tank from a herbicide, you will quickly see signs of injury in the next crop treated. And with all the nooks and crannies in some spray tanks, that can easily happen.”
Just Two Rinses Needed
“By completely dissolving the active ingredient so none of it settles out of the suspension, TotalSol® soluble granule technology ensures there will be no product left in the sprayer,” he explains. “Instead of having to flush out the spray tank repeatedly after use, you only have to thoroughly rinse the tank twice when using a DuPont herbicide with TotalSol® soluble granules.”
The real impact of the formulation is evident when a tank isn’t rinsed right after application, he adds. “Typically, when a spray tank is left for hours or days after application without a good cleaning, any residue left inside will dry and stick. After that, only fairly vigorous agitation and soaking will get it adequately clean.
“Since DuPont herbicides with TotalSol® soluble granules dissolve completely, there is nothing left to stick to the inside of the tank and no particles to settle out,” says Gaultney. “This formulation is different from anything else on the market — and it’s different at the molecular level. Once you add these granules to water and mix the solution, they are no longer separate particles, but are completely dissolved so they don’t settle out.”
Another big benefit: Herbicides formulated with TotalSol® soluble granules mix better with other tank-mix partners, Gaultney notes. As with any tank mix, getting the mixing order right makes a difference in performance of the final solution.
"First, completely dissolve the DuPont herbicide in water. Since the herbicide is no longer a separate particle it helps eliminate deposits that can clog sprayer screens and nozzles, or settle out in the tank. So you have fewer application skips.
"This formulation can even improve efficacy of certain tank-mix partners," he adds. "That increased activity can make the tank mix more effective on certain weeds."
As with any tank mix, it’s important to sufficiently agitate the mixture before application, he notes. “The soluble granules start out as any other particle and need to be agitated long enough to dissolve fully, just like when you stir sugar into iced tea. But once they are dissolved, they stay dissolved. That’s a key advantage. They also require less agitation than typical dry flowable formulations.”
Less Carryover Concern
A thorough rinsing is all it takes to clean a spray tank after applying a DuPont product with TotalSol® soluble granules. “There is no need for using cleaning solutions,” says Gaultney. “That saves the applicator a lot of time.” It also provides peace of mind that there is less chance of active ingredient remaining in the tank to contaminate the next spray solution. This confidence is critical to growers who produce multiple crops — especially crops that can show sensitivity to typical cereals herbicides, such as sugar beets.
“Growers who apply their own crop protection products are very concerned about avoiding product carryover,” Gaultney adds. “TotalSol® soluble granule technology helps ensure they have one less thing to worry about.”