Research pays off for Aussie adjuvant maker

VICCHEM territory manager for NSW Jeshua Smith (right) speaks with farmer Mick Reynolds of ‘Toompang’, Young.
VICCHEM territory manager for NSW Jeshua Smith (right) speaks with farmer Mick Reynolds of ‘Toompang’, Young.

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Years of research and development by Vicchem to create technically-superior crop adjuvants, such as its popular Hasten brand, is finally paying off for the science-based company.

Since its Australian launch in 1994, Hasten has been cross-labelled on 33 leading pesticide brands, the latest being grass herbicide, Platinum360, launched by Adama.

The pioneering adjuvant brand has become a home-grown success story for Melbourne-based Vicchem due to growing popularity among growers, re-sellers, agronomists and crop protection companies.

NSW territory manager for Vicchem Jeshua Smith said Hasten was one of the few adjuvant brands that could genuinely claim “Aussie icon” status.

“Hasten is made for local farming conditions - using Australian-grown canola oil – which local producers of grain, cotton and pulses really value these days,” Mr Smith said.

“Sold in the distinctive 20L green can, Hasten has a solid research base. It’s manufactured to high quality standards and extensively trialled to ensure safety to users, crops and the natural environment.”

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Vicchem R&D technical manager Peter Jones reminded re-sellers and agronomists of encouraging results from the company’s studies into adjuvant safety.

Mr Jones said all adjuvants had the potential to cause crop phytotoxicity, which plant chemists believed was due to cellular breakdown.

“Based on our long term studies, canola-derived Hasten produced relatively less cell damage than mineral oil adjuvants, including Uptake and non-ionic surfactant adjuvants such as  BS1000,” he said.

On environmental safety, Mr Jones said Vicchem had also studied the effect of these same adjuvants on beneficial insects and predatory mites.

“Our results showed that Hasten was generally safer than the other two adjuvants tested, which can be harmful to predatory green lacewing, predatory mite and parasitic wasp when sprayed directly at typical use rates.”