Rising global population and degradation of ecosystems has led to a need for better crop yield. Manufacturers of agricultural chemicals must continue to look for ways to improve upon existing practices and formulations in order to stay ahead of this rising demand. Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, commonly known as METHOCEL™, provides a number of benefits that are of interest to formulators in the agricultural space including improved suspension of wettable powders and enhanced binding of nutrients for seed coatings. METHOCEL™ is compatible with a wide variety of common active ingredients and has been approved for use on both food and non food crops by the EPA.
Wettable powders consist of finely ground pesticide and fertilizer powders that are designed to be diluted in water and spray applied to crops. These powders need to be easily suspended in water and therefore must contain some type of suspension and dispersing aid. METHOCEL™ is used to increase the viscosity of wettable powder suspensions in order to keep the active ingredients from settling and agglomerating. In addition, METHOCEL™ provides a high degree of wet tack that improves adhesion of pesticide and fertilizer suspensions to waxy plant surfaces.
Seed coatings are designed to protect seeds and provide the moisture and nutrients needed in order to germinate and grow. By using a seed coating you are essentially giving a seed a head start and increasing the chances of proper germination and plant establishment. In order to bind the nutrients, inoculants, and pesticides to the seed a "seed sticker" or binder must be utilized. This binder should help to absorb moisture from the soil and also allow for proper germination to occur. METHOCEL™ cellulose ethers are excellent at binding all types of agricultural chemicals to seed surfaces. In addition, METHOCEL™ will efficiently absorb moisture from the soil in order to hold water near the seed. METHOCEL™ has low plant toxicity so it can effectively keep nutrients near growing roots and not harm germinating plants.
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