Properly Desiccating Your Crops
Your crops don’t always dry down or mature as uniformly as needed. In these instances, many people turn to a desiccation application. The advantages to this include quicker dry down, weed control, and ease of harvest ability. If applying a desiccant, it is important to do it correctly.
First, make sure the crop is at the right stage in development before spraying with a desiccant because the application won’t advance seed maturity. “Monitor the crop and typically when pulse crops are showing a general color turn and the leaves are starting the dry down process, the canopy is beginning to open for application. This allows the desiccant to penetrate the canopy more easily,” says Robert Klewchuk, Technical Lead - Western Canada for Syngenta. (Fleury 2015)
Second, you need to choose the right adjuvant for application. There are many adjuvants on the market serving different purposes. Some act like an NIS, some have oil properties, and some have both. Typically cuticle penetration is needed to get a complete kill, which an oil would do, but a lot of times leaf coverage is necessary, where an NIS will help. In this case, a combination adjuvant would do the trick.
Lastly, coverage is king. Higher water volumes are key to ensure sufficient coverage across the entire crop. Some applications call for as high as 20 gallons per acre. Certain desiccants will not translocate through the plant, and this makes coverage that much more important. Higher water rates provide full coverage including the bottom of the plant, so both stems and leaves will dry down properly for combining. (Fleury 2015)
Helena provides a wide array of adjuvants for desiccant applications. Dyne-Amic, a combination organosilicone/NIS, provides wetting/spreading, as well as cuticle penetration. Fire-Zone is a modified MSO that provides superior solvency to get the herbicide into the plant. Hel-Fire has activators that will enhance the degree and speed of the herbicide spray, as well as add spreading and penetration properties. Contact your local Helena representative to find out which adjuvant will work best for you at desiccation time.
- Joe Janecke, Product Manager