While tank-mixing can bring you and your customers improved weed control, convenience and efficiencies, each product added to the tank also increases the potential for negative interactions. Physical incompatibilities can clump or gel an entire tank, and chemical incompatibilities often can result in reduced efficacy or crop injury.
Joe Bolte, market development specialist, Corteva Agriscience, says incorrect product order, moving through steps too quickly and failure to agitate the mixture are all common mistakes that lead to incompatibilities and reduced product efficacy. The good news is that each of these mistakes can be avoided.
5 Ways to Avoid Common Tank-mix Mistakes
- Do your research. Because there are so many types of herbicide formulations, knowing when to add each product to the tank can be confusing. Make sure you’re set up for success by reading all label directions and formulation information available. Many labels will tell you about the order in which you should tank-mix with other products, the agitation requirements and any product restrictions.
- Perform a jar test with your proposed tank mix. Don’t waste time and money by going straight to mixing products in the tank. “Jar tests are a great way to test compatibility issues before heading out into the field,” Bolte says.
- Begin with a half-full tank of water carrier. Using low water volumes and high rates of crop protection products increases risk of incompatibility.
- Agitate chemical containers before each use. When liquid herbicides sit for long periods of time, they begin to separate. Therefore, it is important to shake the chemical jugs before use. This will help ensure the proper ratio of actives is getting mixed into the sprayer. Also, agitate the mixture itself throughout the process to keep things from settling.
- Take your time. Allow time for proper agitation, time for water conditioning and time between each new product added. If ammonium sulfate (AMS) is required, make sure the water conditioner has had enough time to circulate before adding any liquid herbicides.
“Since many liquid herbicides can be tied up by hard water, we want to make sure the AMS has enough time to condition the water,” Bolte explains. “Failing to condition the water can reduce herbicide performance.”
The Bottom Line
There are many benefits to combining crop protection products, but a successful tank mix requires research, testing and attention to detail. Work with your Corteva Agriscience representative to find products that offer tank-mix compatibility and meet your customers’ crop protection goals.