POST herbicide effectiveness depends on spray droplet retention, deposition, and herbicide absorption by weed foliage. Adjuvants and spray water quality influence POST herbicide efficacy. Adjuvants are not needed with PRE herbicides unless weeds have emerged and labels include POST application.
Spray adjuvants generally consist of surfactants, oils and fertilizers. The most effective adjuvant will vary with each herbicide, and the need for an adjuvant will vary with environment, weeds, and herbicide used. Adjuvant use should follow label directions and be used with caution as they may influence crop safety and weed control. An adjuvant may increase weed control from one herbicide but not from another. To compare adjuvants and determine adjuvant enhancement herbicide rates should be used at marginal weed control levels. Effective adjuvants will enhance herbicides at reduced rates and provide consistent results under adverse conditions. However, use of below-labeled rates exempts herbicide manufacturers from liability for nonperformance.