Melissa Old had a goal. She was working on a formulation for a new soybean herbicide. Her objective was to find out what farmers and custom applicators wanted, and then design the herbicide formulation to deliver those qualities.
Last week, Dow AgroSciences made her efforts public. First the company unveiled Surveil herbicide for soybeans, and announced it had received EPA registration and will be marketed in 2016. Then they provided a rare opportunity for media to view demonstrations in a working lab, and to let them photograph the demonstration so you could see it. Normally their labs are off-limits to reporters and cameras.
Old's goal was to develop a formulation that would dissolve easily when added to both agitating water, like the herbicide mix in a tank with agitation, and into a tank with still water, where there was no agitation.
She succeeded in finding a formulation where granules dissolve quickly into the solution in both cases.
Compared to two other leading herbicides on the market today, she demonstrated that Surveil moved into solution faster. The granules wetted up more quickly, and fewer of them sank and settled on the bottom than was the case with each of the other herbicides.
The other herbicides are good products. She wanted to demonstrate that her formulation will simply make it easier for operators to use because it has traits that allow it to mix more easily and stay in suspension. That's true if it's added to a tank that already has herbicides in it which is already being agitated, or if it is added into a static situation where there is no agitation.
In both cases, the Surveil granules formed the cloudy solution in the beaker more quickly. In this case a cloudy solution represented a dispersed herbicide. It was her goal, and she achieved it.