What do vinaigrette, a deflated football & Bayer's Interface™ all have in common?
In essence, the answer is formulation technology; and, faced with health and safety limitations forbidding the use of chemicals in the conference room, Bayer's Eleanor Jenks and Dave Orchard had to come up with some creative means of demonstrating Interface's unique StressGard™ Formulation Technology at this year's STRI research event.
"We are often asked how StressGard™ Formulation Technology works and how the formulation makes Bayer's latest fungicide, Interface™ different to other products," says Eleanor. "We wanted to take the opportunity at the STRI research day to explain to delegates exactly how Interface™ works and what makes it such an effective product."
The key to this new fungicide is the formulation of ingredients within it. C is a combination of active ingredients, inert ingredients and turf specific co-formulants that all work together to offer the most effective product possible.
Eleanor explains that describing this in these terms often has little effect on the end users. "We really wanted to offer greenkeepers a visual demonstration of how this works. Not being able to actually mix the chemicals gave us the opportunity to create some visual metaphors that illustrated the points perfectly."
Greenkeepers will often mix two or more pesticides in the same spray tank. While this is accepted practice, there are significant risks involved if incompatible products are used. "Sometimes the two products can 'congeal', resulting in blocked sprayers and nozzles causing unnecessary maintenance," explains Eleanor. She illustrated this by mixing a cream based liqueur with lime cordial, which quickly solidified.
"Sometimes the two chemicals will just separate in the tank, which could mean that the first nine greens will be sprayed with one chemical at double dose, and the second nine greens will be sprayed with the other at double dose." This point was demonstrated by mixing vinegar and olive oil.
"If, however you add mustard powder to this oil and vinegar mix, the two liquids combine, remain mixed and become stable. This is in much the same way as how StressGard™ Formulation Technology works. The introduction of turf specific co-formulants stabilises the mix and ensures an even and effective spray."
StressGard™ Formulation Technology continues to aid the application once Interface™ hits the leaf. "Standard non-optimised formulated liquids will often bounce or roll off the surface," explains Eleanor. "Essentially that is the greenkeeper's fungicide investment literally running away into the soil." StressGard™ Formulation Technology ensures that the droplets hit the leaf and stick to it. Not only that, their area of contact is much larger than in a non-optimised formulated product, ensuring that absorption is maximised.
This was demonstrated when Eleanor placed a fully inflated football on the table, allowing it to roll off. She then placed a slightly deflated ball on the same spot. "The added area of contact created by the 'squashed' ball allows it to stay in place. Interface's droplets work in much the same manner."
While these demonstrations may seem elementary, they visually depict the complex chemistry at work in Bayer's Interface™ and demonstrate clearly how extensive Research and Development has helped produce a product that is designed to work in the most effective way possible.
The demonstrations were well recived by the delegates with Peter Mcvicar, Course Manager at Hesketh Golf Club saying "For a short presentation this was very informative," and Lloyd Balazs - Assistant Greenkeeper, Royal Lytham complimenting the "Good use of demonstrations and examples, particularly given the very technical subject.'
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