(also called super wetting agent) is a low molecular weight nonionic silicone polyether surfactant formulation, developed to improve wetting, spreading and penetration of agricultural chemicals. It is effective as a formulation ingredient in pesticide products or as a tank-mix adjuvant for foliar spray application of chemicals such as insecticides, fungicides and plant growth regulators.
A major problem encountered with aqueous chemical applications is the inability of many traditional surfactants to fully wet and penetrate leaves and other leaf surfaces. This is due to the high surface tension of water and its inability to dissolve or disperse in the presence of the polar molecules found on plant leaves and other surfaces. The use of a silicone adjuvant can solve this problem by dramatically lowering the surface tension of aqueous spray solutions, which allows them to spread much more rapidly and thoroughly on leaf surfaces. This also results in a significant increase in rainfastness, because herbicides and other sprays are able to enter the plants more easily and remain there after rainfall rather than being washed off the surface of the plant.
The organosilicone compounds in these spray adjuvants have also been shown to efficiently absorb and carry into the plant the many active ingredients contained in aqueous agricultural mixtures. These sprays are taken into the plant through its stomata, resulting in a rapid increase in both the rate and amount of uptake and efficacy of these chemicals. This is especially true in the case of fungicides and insecticides, which have demonstrated an excellent increase in efficacy when used with an organosilicone wetting agent.
In addition, a silicone adjuvant can greatly increase the effectiveness of certain post-emergent herbicides. These herbicides require small, concentrated spray deposits to effectively penetrate the leaves of target plants, and a silicone adjuvant can help create these smaller drops by reducing the surface tension of the aqueous spray solution. This is important because some of these aqueous products have been shown to be less effective on certain types of plant foliage, thereby decreasing their performance.
When using any silicone adjuvant, it is recommended to follow the label directions for applying it to a crop. Always test a small area before full-field application to make sure the product will perform as expected and that it will not cause unacceptable damage.