Bringing a new crop protection product to market can cost upwards of $250 million in research and development. But beyond the product itself is the way the technology is delivered. Advances in formulations allow growers to optimize a new product’s capabilities. Dow AgroScience spent 15 years developing and testing its GoDRI formulation to make sure it provided greater ease of use without the drawbacks of older dry formulations.
“This technology is all about taking high performing chemistry and making a more efficient solution for farmers,” says Mark Alberts, product manager with Dow AgroSciences. “Simplicity GoDRI gives farmers a highly concentrated product in a smaller package, resulting in less jugs to transport, handle and dispose of in the field.”
Historically there was a trade-off between the convenience of concentrated dry formulations and their ease of use. Other dry formulations have had struggles with speed of mixing and clogging of nozzles and filters. While often the crop protection product was developed with technological advances that met growers’ needs, the method of delivery failed to show that technology off to its advantage.
GoDRI’s rapid dispersion technology was developed specifically so the product can mix well and perform at the same level of effectiveness as its liquid counterparts. Rapid dispersion technology allows the product to dissolve quickly, with minimal foaming or precipitation.
“Dry formulations generally need to be hydrated for a while in order to achieve optimal mixing,” says Tom Wolf, research scientist with Agrimetrix Research and Training. “If they aren’t fully dispersed they won’t get through the screen. Typically, that has taken more time than growers would like, and if the product wasn’t fully water soluble, it could be difficult to clean off the tank, screens and nozzles.”
Wolf’s team tested the GoDRI Technology under different conditions to see if they could force the product to fail. Over the course of a month, researchers examined the major variables of solubility – from water temperature, to water hardness and water volumes. They also assessed whether the speed water was added would affect dispersion, and looked at the impact – if any – from the pH of each water sample.
“Water is very variable across the Prairies and there are unique groundwater situations in virtually every region,” says Wolf. “We tested major variables under conditions that would be extremely difficult for a producer to work, and we were unable to identify dispersion issues under the tested variables.”
In addition to looking at different water conditions Wolf’s team tested GoDRI under a number of different mixing and application scenarios. “We sprayed it through screens immediately after mixing, and tank mixed it with a number of products,” says Wolf. “No matter what we tried, we couldn’t break it.”
GoDRI is highly concentrated requiring low dosage levels. Products with this technology not only disperse quickly in water, they stay mixed for the duration of spraying. They also require smaller packing for both better handling and cleanup. Growers can fill a sprayer tank and cover a lot of acres quickly, during a time of the growing season when every second counts.
Simplicity GoDRI helps showcase the formulation
Launched in 2016, Simplicity GoDRI has been used in two very different growing seasons across many areas of the Prairies. From cool and wet to hot and dry, the two seasons tested the limits of the herbicide and its formulation.
“You couldn’t have had two more different years in the southern Prairies than the 2016 and 2017 growing seasons,” says Alberts. “Simplicity GoDRI is an extremely robust solution which performed well under a variety of conditions.”
Simplicity GoDRI is a Group 2 herbicide that controls wild oats, including on Group 1-resistant biotypes. It has activity on many broadleaf weeds and is also effective in controlling Japanese Brome, a tough weed that is an increasing concern for Prairie growers. It can be applied from the 3-leaf stage to flag leaf emergence, and has a wide array of broadleaf tank mix products. Fields sprayed with Simplicity GoDRI can be rotated into any crop the following year.
Simplicity GoDRI should always be used with a non-ionic surfactant such as Agral 90. Simplicity GoDRI won’t freeze so it can be stored on-farm without taking up much warehouse space.
In addition to Simplicity, the GoDRI technology is also used to deliver Dow AgroSciences Paradigm herbicide for broadleaf weed control and Rexade herbicide for all-in-one weed control.
“Farmers need products to be effective, but they also need to be efficient,” says Alberts. “Simplicity GoDRI delivers on this need. It’s an innovative formulation that, at the end of the day, is simple to use and highly effective.”