Monsanto develops dicamba sprayer cleaner

Monsanto develops dicamba sprayer cleaner
Apr 27, 2018

The product will be commercially available shortly

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Growers will soon have a new product to help clean dicamba from sprayers.

Monsanto partnered with Adjuvants Unlimited, a developer and manufacturer of crop protection technology, to create the first-ever agricultural sprayer system cleaner designed to deactivate dicamba.

“As farmers go through the appropriate measures to clean out their sprayers when they switch from dicamba to another product, this technology deactivates organic molecules including dicamba,” Ryan Rubischko, Monsanto’s dicamba portfolio lead, told today.

A farmer simply runs the product through the sprayer as part a normal sprayer cleaning routine.

Like most crop protection products, growers will have to follow the specific directions on the labels to ensure the product is working optimally, Rubischko said.

The technology used to deactivate the dicamba molecules is called the Fenton Reaction, which is a chemical reaction between hydrogen peroxide and an iron catalyst. This process is also used in the water treatment industry.

“In the presence of iron, hydrogen peroxide becomes highly reactive and goes after any organic matter,” Dan Karlik, a director with Adjuvants Unlimited, told today. “In this case the organic matter is dicamba, and dicamba has its molecular structure chewed away. It becomes something completely innocuous that has no biological activity.”

Monsanto and Adjuvants Unlimited worked together over the last three years to develop this technology. It may be applicable for other crop protection products in the future.

University field trials suggest the product performs as its intended.

“We have been testing this new technology in university trials and it has proven to be very effective at cleaning sprayer systems that have contained dicamba tank mixed with additional herbicide products,” Dan Reynolds, weed science professor at Mississippi State University, said in a statement yesterday. “We have seen a significant reduction in the presence of dicamba when utilizing this technology as part of the labeled sprayer cleanout process.”

Farmers should have commercial access to the product, which is yet to be named, within the next few weeks, Rubischko said. contacted various soybean associations for reaction to the product announcement.

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