A guide to product formulations | Syngenta Turf & Landscape

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A guide to product formulations


Formulations are important to how a product works and can be used. At Syngenta, we aren’t haphazard in our formulation development; everything is carefully thought out to deliver the best results. A great example of this our MAXX formulations product range, featuring ME Microemulsion formulation which has been especially developed for turf.

The rundown on formulations

Product formulation is a mix of active constituent and inert ingredients like:

  • solvents
  • carriers
  • adjuvants
  • anti-settling agents
  • anti-foaming agents
  • heat and cold stabilisers
  • other compounds

While the active constituent controls the target, the inert components work to improve the product’s efficacy, stability and usability. They can suspend or hold the product’s component evenly in a mixture, make it safer to turf, or enhance the speed of uptake and effectiveness. The inert components can also make the product easier to use by improving its ability to be handled, measured, mixed and applied to the target area.

Products come in a range of different formulations – some dry, others liquid or oil based. The selection of formulation type is often governed by the active constituent’s properties – such as in water soluble or insoluble and what the most effective formulation will be for users of the product. It’s worth taking the time to understand each formulation, so you can get the best performance.

Here are some of the common formulations you may come across:

Water-dispersible Granule (WG)

A formulation consisting of granules, to be applied after disintegration and dispersion in water.

Products with a WG formulation come as easy-to-measure granules that do not dust like wettable powders. When you add the granules to water in a spray tank, the solution quickly disperses to form a fine particle suspension in the liquid. It’s important to note that with this formulation type, constant agitation is recommended to ensure best suspension in tank.  

PROVAUNT insecticide, SPINNER insecticide, VELISTA fungicide and CASPER herbicide are all WG formulation, which makes them easy to measure and mix with water. An additional benefit is the relative low volumes required: Syngenta’s formulation can be applied at around 1kg/ha, due to the high active constituent loading. This means less product is required on-site, while smaller, more user-friendly containers reduce HSE risks.

Suspension Concentrate (SC)

A stable suspension of active constituent(s) with water as the fluid, intended for dilution with water before use.

An SC is a water-based liquid formulation which contains dispersed, finely milled solid particles of the active ingredient. Syngenta’s product milling is highly refined compared to some SC formulations, which ensures improved product coverage and retention of the product. An SC usually comes with a wetting agent or surfactant that allows the active ingredient particles to flow easily in water. They do not require solvents, and have built-in adjuvants for improved efficacy.

Products with SC formulation, such as ACELEPRYN insecticide, BARRICADE herbicide and MEDALLION fungicide, have low odour due to not requiring solvents in formulation. They also do not stain surfaces after application, which helps protect pathways from staining.

Medallion Fine Milled Crystals

Emulsifiable Concentrate (EC)

A liquid, homogeneous formulation to be applied as an emulsion after dilution in water.

An EC is a blend of active ingredient, organic solvent and surfactants. When the transparent solution is diluted in the tank, spontaneous emulsification occurs to form a stable, milk-like emulsion that separates from the water – much like olive oil mixed in salad dressing. EC products generally are simple to manufacture, have a relatively high biological activity and good stability.

BANNER FAIRWAY fungicide, PENMAG herbicide and Syngenta’s original turf growth regulator, PRIMO 250, all have an EC formulation with excellent efficacy and an economical price point.

Granular Formulations

A free-flowing, solid formulation of a defined granular size range that is ready to use.

GR formulation products deliver a ‘no spray’ solution, so there is no need for costly spray equipment. They are also more flexible in tight or inaccessible areas that are unsuited to spraying.

ACELEPEYN GR insecticide is a highly refined, granular insecticide that is applied with a spreader. Its benefits include highly uniform 150 SGN (size guide number) 1.5mm granules, a highly refined formulation to ensure ease of spreading without settling out, and a low dust formulation. Overall, this delivers an effective and flexible method of application.

Oil-based suspension concentrates (OD)

A stable suspension of the active constituent, dispersed in oil and other inert components to allow dilution in water before use.

This formulation is not as common in turf as some of the other formulations, but delivers protection of more sensitive actives such as Sulfonylureas.

MONUMENT herbicide is an OD formulation which helps extend the active due to better spray retention, penetration of weed foliage and uptake of the inert carriers. 

Microemulsifiable (ME)

A clear to opalescent oil- and water-containing liquid, with a significantly smaller formulation particle size.

ME formulations can be as small as 0.01 micron, compared to the average particle size of 1 to 5 microns in EC products. When diluted, the MEC forms a micro-emulsion, which makes the solution very stable.

Syngenta’s ME technology is specifically designed for efficiency and outstanding safety in turf care, which is what sets PRIMO MAXX – along with fungicides BANNER MAXX, HERTIAGE MAXX and SUBDUE MAXX – apart.

MAXX’s ME formulation offers:

  • turf safety with no harsh solvents used
  • no odours
  • no sediment, foaming or crystallisation
  • an extremely small particle size –only a fraction of a standard EC formulation in size, which means excellent solution stability, coverage
  • A thermodynamically stable product, which increases shelf life
  • enhanced product uptake and efficacy – PRIMO MAXX outperforms generic trinexapac-ethyl with a 15% better overall average clipping yield
  • compatibility with other products – PRIMO MAXX can be used with ACELEPRYN, BARRICADE and other commonly used fertilisers in one tank mix

With the help of ME technology, PRIMO MAXX’s active constituent can better be absorbed to reduce vertical growth while increasing lateral growth and rooting. The end-result? Healthier turf, thanks to a formulation that makes the product easy to use, effective, safe and reliable.

Micro Encapsulated Emulsion

For more information about PRIMO MAXX and Syngenta’s other ME formulation products, contact 1800 022 035 or speak to your local Syngenta agent.